To the President, First Lady, 30 Cheers!

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Tonye Princewill holds up President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Aisha as desirable model of a loving family, in 30 years of marriage

In a few short weeks I will be celebrating my own wedding anniversary, so permit me to speak with some authority albeit measured, on why we all need to celebrate our first couple.

We all know that very early on, President Buhari stood out in a crowd. His own track record and antecedents are very well documented in many public records. But Aisha was no shrinking willow either. Born into a respectable family, she was the granddaughter of Nigeria’s first Minister of Defence. It explains her quiet, steady backbone.

They have lived together in love for 30 good years. They weathered family storms together for a good 30 years and counting. They were together during the tedious years of traversing the whole of Nigeria, seeking for today and yesterday’s mandate from Nigerians to preside over our affairs. They were together when many disappointing judgements denying Buhari the mandate freely given by Nigerians to be President. They were together when after thunder came rain and they remained together when it became sunshine. Who best to remind him who was with them?

A beautiful family. Because we are. They are, not only the Number One family in Africa but the entire black world today. A very humble family with a deep Muslim piety. Take a look at the strong moral standing of the couple. President Buhari has shown iron clad rectitude on the matter of greed, prevalent amongst men of means and influence of his hue. The man has ever had only one wife, unlike many who have had plenty. Therefore when one juxtaposes Muhammadu Buhari and Aisha, it becomes very clear that it was a marriage made by Allah in heaven from day one. Look at the peaceful and lovely way Aisha has adopted the earlier children of the family when their mother passed away. H.E Aisha Buhari has carried on without qualms in love with all members of the first family regardless of whether she is their biological mother or not. A rare quality, not easy to find. In the four years and more she has been First Lady of Nigeria, she has radiated and spoken truth and love to Nigerians. Our people love Aisha. She has always defended the weak and minority peoples of the nation. Though she may be working from the ‘other room’, she has shown empathy, courage, strength, wisdom, kindness, boldness and nationalism, like her husband. All hail the Buharis and the family as we join them in prayers and joyous celebration of 30 years of a good journey in marital bliss and family harmony.

Marriage is tough in any climate, so put marriage in the context of the harsh realities of the Nigerian climate and you see that for a marriage to survive three years is hard work, not to talk of 30 years mired in disappointment, threats to life, attempts on life and rejoicing. If there is one take away from this for married couples, it is, put your faith in God, not in man.

My reference to a match made in heaven was not sycophantic babble but a genuinely held belief that you don’t need to brawl for what is truly yours. God at His appointed time will give you what you deserve, put you where you belong and match you with the people who will take you to the destination He has mapped out for you. It may not be the one you had planned, but trust him all the same.

Stick with your spouse through thick and thin and try to overcome whatever obstacle is put in front of you, while at all times seeking the face of God. Be not in a haste, stay put and make the best of whatever situation. Your education lies in the journey, not the destination. If Mr and Mrs. President have taught us anything, it is the rewards of patience and joys of faith.

*Princewill is a businessman, filmmaker and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State