Tuesday Column By VICTORIA NGOZI IKEANO
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Greetings, madams. Pardon me if I do not start with the customary congratulations. Pardon me too for not addressing you by your full nomenclatures as demanded by protocol, namely ‘Her Excellency, the First Lady of XYZ State, Dr, Lolo, Chief, Hajia, ABC. Be it known madams that I have the highest regards for your office as First Lady and your person as civility demands and more importantly as one whose husband Providence has temporarily placed the wellbeing of millions of citizens. This is an earthly and spiritual responsibility that should be undertaken with utmost seriousness for, failure has dire consequences both here and in the beyond; like a nerve strand or branch of a giant tree, it runs deep into milliard places.
As the better half of his Excellency on whose shoulders lies the task of approving or taking decisions that affect our lives in one way or other, your life is intertwined with his. And though you may say that the buck actually stops on His Excellency the governor’s desk and so you cannot be held responsible for his actions or inactions, be it known Madam First Ladies that you also bear part of the brunt for his inadequacies while in that exalted earthly office for which you tag along him like an unbreakable chord, as First Lady. I shall endeavour to explain later ma.
But let me interject again quickly still, by way of preliminaries Madams, that you should not take offence that I appear to be addressing you as a mate. I acknowledge the earthly gulf between you and me, a ‘poor’ pen pusher. It is just that these earthly embellishments of material acquisitions and so-called fame are ephemeral and brought about by the fact that we all take varying paths in our journey through earth as pilgrims. Spiritually we are all creatures of the Almighty imbued with same talents; the seeming difference coming about through how each of us in exercise of our freewill chose any one of the millions of ways by which to develop these talents, hence our different callings. Some of us have even out of spiritual ignorance and indolence neglected them, buried them, distorted them and sadly albeit correct, even steered them along wrong courses not willed by the Almighty. When each one of us is shorn of all the earthly embellishments with which we cloak ourselves, we see only the individual in his/her essential, fundamental nature – the human spirit. It is in this light that I view and am addressing you madams; that is as a human spirit like me with a common origin, a fellow pilgrim, whose earthly path has led you to occupying the earthly leadership position of The First Lady of your respective states.
Now let us together reflect on some key points I wish to put forward ma. Following declaration of your husband’s as winners of the governorship elections, whether first or second timers, you received countless congratulatory messages from countless persons, friends, acquaintances, relatives, etc – both distant and near; numerous parties, receptions were organised for you, just as countless people under numerous banners paid you courtesy visits to felicitate with you. If one were to ask why they are felicitating or why they are “happy for you” as it is said , they would answer that it is because you will now “enjoy life” with your new position because you would now have access to plenty cash, be able to afford more of the ‘good things of life’ and consequently be highly esteemed by society. By the good things of life, they mean houses, cars and all the modern gadgets that money can buy. All of these actually facilitate life on earth. They are very necessary for our everyday living here and everyone should indeed strive to acquire them in honest work.
However, we should possess only the quantum that we need, not as many as we desire. We cross the line when we acquire more than the numbers we actually need. It then verges on greediness and with greediness comes other vices in its train. I urge you the First Ladies ma, to constantly ‘pinch’ and checkmate yourself not to fall to this temptation of unbridled material acquisitions, including cash. These things do not bring us happiness per se. At best they give us contentment and fun. Happiness in its deep, not superficial meaning, is equivalent to inner peace, inner freedom. It can be brought about through engaging in good, noble deeds; giving unselfishly, giving the other person something of value that uplifts him/her without expecting and ‘reward’ as such. In this connection you should give thanks to the Lord that Providence has placed your husband the governor and by extension you, in a position where you can do the greatest good to the greatest number of people. That madam, the First Lady ma, is your and His Excellency’s major task. Your duty is to help your husband achieve this as his better half/ partner indeed. That is, to do the greatest good to the greatest number of people. Always keep this objective in view ma.
Let us now consider the role of woman in creation. Everything in Creation has a purpose. It is not for nothing that the Almighty God created man and woman and placed them side by side in creation so to speak. The distinguishing factor is in the nature of their activities, not only in their physical, outward make up here on earth. The man engages in coarse, positive, ‘hard’ kind of activities and the woman fine, negative, ‘soft’ kinds. Both are split specie and in their joint working are able to form a whole that is complete, of value and thence perfect. Neither can form anything perfect solely from its own ‘work’ alone for they complement each other and in working together form the whole that can be of value in creation. Therewith Your Excellencies the First Ladies ma, your role is to so complement the activities of their Excellencies your husbands to enable them produce works that are of eternal value to the citizenry. However, this can only be fulfilled by the genuine woman who stands aright in creation at her duty post, not one that has distorted the noble concept of womanhood and dragged it to the mud. My loving thoughts and prayers go out to you madams, that you be imbued with the strength and true knowledge to fulfil your sacred tasks.