Akeredolu’s Wife: Between Foul Cry and Wolf Criers

By Bamitale Ogidan

One of the clues from elementary journalism class: ‘It doesn’t make a news when a dog bites a man but newsy when a man bites the dog’ comes to mind as I brooded over the voice note reportedly released to the public by the wife of the governor of Ondo State, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, sternly warning Bunmi Ademosu, Special Adviser on Public and Intergovernmental Relations to the Governor, to ‘stay away from my husband’.

Expectedly, reactions and recriminations
have since greeted the strongly worded remonstrance from Mrs Akeredolu, who, for the obvious reasons, one would have expected to apply some measure of temperance in handling Ademosu’s stunt; but knowing Betty as one who do not suffer fools gladly, she said her mind, albeit in the most unpretentious manner, leaving the public to grapple with the upshot, which is what makes apt the man-dog axiom as alluded.

From the tone and theme of the message, the inference drawn is- one, that the governor is admittedly indisposed; two, that Ademosu, as a close aide, is taking undue advantage of the governor’s health status through his care-givers, ostensibly to provide traditional medications without his wife’s knowledge, thereby milking him surreptitiously, and three, that Ademosu, is suspected to be using the same subterfuge to scheme for deputy governorship position in the event that the fortuitous happens.

As of now, neither the First Lady nor the Special Adviser has come out to affirm or deny the narrative, but if we must annotate the foregoing in good faith, the message therein is lucid enough for unblemished minds; though it appears people, more often than not, prefers emotion to reason. I have read some of the sundry reactions to the occurrence in the media space, and, I find it disturbing that folks find it more convenient to merely shout from the rooftops over the fact that Mrs Akeredolu has justifiably put up a protestation to an act tantamount to an infringement of her right to privacy.

I am not a politician and I do not fancy the government in power, so the supposition of patronage around my opinion does not arise; yet I dare ask: who says Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, a legally married wife of her husband of over forty years does not have the right to protect her husband, and, by extension, her family, from an intruder? How does Ademosu’s assignments as an appointee extend beyond official hours, and the governor’s closet? Who would, in Betty’s shoes, not bulge, where such handshake reaches for the elbow?

It is even more sickening reading the simplistic reactions from the opposition party and other hasty judges as they scrambled to make political capital from the matter. It does not matter if you like the face of Betty or you prefer the gully gamble of Bunmi, the opposition should be seen to be above board for once and not a perpetual purveyor of emotional garbage. We should all find the scarce courage to ask the right questions when we should and not to always indulge alibis for dishonesty in whatever shape it appears.

I am a woman and I know how it feels. Mrs Akeredolu, in this instance, has given a categorical stance as to who and what she feels uncomfortable with around her husband, and it is within her rights to do so, irrespective of what you and I believe or disbelieve. She has not flouted any known rule for being so outspoken about what belongs to her by right. Yes, she is a first lady but a human being! I do not share the sentiment that her protest is unfounded; and if her hands aren’t soiled as said, it is expected that the woman alleged of underhand dealings should come out to deny it.

If it is the truth that Ademosu, who is not the governor’s personal assistant and does not hold equivalent position, sneaks in to be around the governor in the manner described by his wife; if it is correct that she ‘loots’ the governor under the guise of helping to heal, then it is normal for any sane woman to feel suspicious as such style is understandably dangerous and provocative. Those who hide under the situation to vent personal grudges should keep mute when their own marriage, their sisters’ or daughters’ are threatened in like manner.

Whatever ifs and buts, it is affronting and unbecoming to to deal with another woman’s spouse without her knowledge and the whole thing smells of betrayal and bad faith; and it is an act typical of desperate women who would go to any length to arm-twist principals at vulnerable times. It is good that Mrs Akeredolu is watchful. It is also smart that she has spoken so loudly for Ademosu, her haulers and hailers to hear. Those crying wolf should respect her space. It is a legitimate cry in defense of what is hers, after all.

Ademosu, if she wants to retain her jobs, should restrict herself to Intergovernmental duties and cease to add ‘inter-marital’, and thereby causing repeated upheavals; she should, at once, respect the first lady’s privacy and her preference for western medicine in treating the governor and henceforth desist from interloping.

Bamitale Ogidan writes from Ikun- Akoko.

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