Auren Sarki Sanusi: Beyond The Legitimacy By Adamu Tilde
And yes, he has not violated any law- temporal or sacred. He has legitimately acted within the ambit of the rights accorded to him by his religion, his State and of course his conscience. But there is more to life that exercising one’s right.
Oh come on! One will be tempted to say, what is more in this life than exercising ones rights within the limit of law? Life is meant to be live and one must lives to its fullest. Besides, the burden of food, shelter, cloth and need I to mention the Alpha and Omega of marital life, SEX, lay in my shoulder. And I can shoulder them without complain. So what is yours crying and mourning more than the bereaved, trying to be more catholic than Pope. Excuse me. The girl in question is not complaining; neither her parent nor her co-wives nor their children. Oh, Really? Are they not? Or you simply chose to put a blind eye to their feelings and sensitivities?
More often than not, Man appears to be only wise by half. Provided he will achieve his ends- in this case, marrying the one whom the epithelial tissues of her milk reservoir didn’t sag, and her contours are still blossoming- the means do not count, even if it will cause him his respect, and reputation. In fact, 35 years of unadulterated love and servitude; unalloyed and barely appreciated loyalty will not count. Damn the public perception! Who cares?
Not long ago, I read an acquaintance here on Facebook cautioning his Governor about public perception. You see, the public may not be right, but their perception isn’t something to bargain on. They have the right to ask just like you have the right to exercise your own rights. The crux of the argument put forward by my friend was, the seeming indifference of public figure toward the perception of their followers with respect to their actions or inactions is counter-productive and often lead to misrepresentation of what public figure stands for. You may be excused for being you holding a non-political office but you represent a tradition. You symbolize a culture of certain society. Your action or inaction will certainly be weigh by the populace. And with growing fusion of tradition and culture, a global phenomenon that one has no control over, many that will assess your actions are not conversant with the tradition you represent. They may have a poor assessment of your action courtesy of the room you created. In one stretch, they may confuse the action—a 54 year-old man marrying an 18 year-old girl (36 solid years difference)—as in, could this be because he wants to enhance their relationship as Royal Fathers? Or as one commentator puts it: It’s called sexual perversion, make no mistake. You cannot blame them for “the person that brought ant-infested wood should not complain if visited by lizards”. That’s why we have to be wary of public perception especially now that we are living in a global village.
Sometimes, those that we antagonize and put a barrier of some sort between us courtesy of their inclination or belief are actually the best people that we could have brought closer. Our friends, relatives, or brothers in faith may actually fail to grasp, sometimes create an artificial blindness toward our shortcomings. Unlike those on the other side of the divide, more often than not, because they care very little of what we represent, and give no hue on whether what they say sound good to your ears or not, they tell us the truth to our face.
Like acknowledged above, there is nothing bad in marrying an eighteen year-old girl and/or lady. In fact, it may be a good thing depending on which angle you are looking at it. But just because something is legal doesn’t in any way make it moral; just because something in lawful doesn’t in any way make it normal; and just because something is usual doesn’t in any way make it sensible.
It ain’t about the question of legitimacy neither of right nor of financial buoyancy. It is about respect for ones feelings and appreciation of years of loyalty. The rights accorded to you to marry whomsoever you deem-fit does not in any way negates the due consideration that should be given to the feelings of your other wives. They may not talk but certainly they are feeling the pain. They may not protest but most assuredly, they felt insulted by trading their years of servitude to the garbage. They may appear unconcerned, even feign a cheerful face but on the inside, they mourn the sense of betrayal, feeling of incompleteness and perhaps, no longer useful. One will never comprehend women feelings until you put yourself in their shoes and/or position.
It is simplistic and totally disgusting to dismiss the variation in age between the spouses. And please, spare me the cheap mentions of some personalities that do engage in such. There is nothing noble in comparative backwardness. Because Uncle A has done this and that, it is equally logical for me to do so. I don’t rationalize retrogression.
To man, he might be carried away by the sight, and perhaps the thought of having new experience with an agile body. This might probably blur his vision and retard his reasoning. Possessed by what appears to be love from afar while in fact, it is a mere desire—a quest for satisfying sexual urge—he cares very little on what his other wives may think or feel.
To woman, it is different entirely. First, the feeling of betrayal—feeling of being unappreciated. Second, the lady in question- this is the bone of my arguments. An 18 year-old lady is matured in many ramifications. So there is no question of maturity. But wait a minute! Her co-wives’ children were of the same age. Here lies the problem. It is one thing to marry your age-mate or for some precautionary measures, a little difference in age sufficed. It is another thing all entirely to be confronted with an eighteen year-old lady as a co-wife. Haba! How insensitive. One’s children play-mate now a co-wife that one will have to share a husband with. This is the issue and this is the respect that women are calling for. Their sensitivities are at stake. The thought of sharing husband is an unimaginable pain to womenfolk. Now think of a barely ripe-girl doing tumpom-tumpom with your husband. At least, even if you want to punish them through additional wife, do it with dignity. Marry someone of appreciable age and psychological maturity.
Then to the children, oh dear! This torture! They acknowledged the legitimacy of the action of their daddy but certainly with some dosage of pain. The thought of their play-mate, class-mate and age-mate as a legitimate wife of their daddy carries a burden in itself. And one funny thing with mind, in no time it will begin to imagined what usually transpire between husband and wife (their friend). All the niceties, those nagging traits that characterized girls—please dance for me; Oh sweetie, I want to eat kuli-kuli; My dear, you must back me; No no no, today na doggie style I want. Will she even call him Baby? So will the mind imagined. Baby, what? My daddy is being called Baby by that small girl. Damn! But there is nothing they can do about it. They have to endure no matter the pain. This is the punishment that one puts his children in by marrying a small girl (their age-mate). At least, even if you must add to the existing collection, do it with some level of decorum and respect by marrying that that your children will be able to call Mummy without much stress.