Sunday, 22 March 2015

#Letr2Jack: Money Matters – 2 by Leke Alder

Dear Jack

When a marriage is under financial strain, 
men and women exhibit strange characters...
lack of a marriage...breeds fear and 
turns you into a spiritual analyst. 
And so the woman becomes the enemy, a suspect, not an ally.

My dear Jack, if you don’t want the truth don’t ask me for advice. I’ve told you money is important in marriage. A lack of money can break a marriage. And where it doesn’t it can do irreparable damage. It will reconfigure the relationship between you and your wife. It’s why I tell young men not to go into marriage without a job. You’re going to put enormous strain on the marriage. No matter how much you love each other, when there’s no money the union will be pressured. And when a marriage is under financial strain, men and women exhibit strange characters. You’ll be shocked what that goody goody girlfriend of yours will do under financially induced marital strain. Even you will change under pressure. And financial pressure can be particularly hard on young men. Linked to self-esteem.

Life demands of young men they substantiate their affection with means. And because men define themselves by attainment, a lack of money greatly affects social status. When there’s financial pressure, the more your wife tries to console and comfort you the more you’ll snap. The brunt of financial pressure is borne by those in close proximity. And so both of you will turn on each other. Then the illogical begins to happen. You’ll grow superstitious, wondering if marrying the young woman was the incipience of a regime of lack… Wondering whether the woman is a harbinger of bad fortune you shouldn’t have married. That’s what lack of money can do in a marriage. It breeds fear and turns you into a spiritual analyst. And so the woman becomes the enemy, a suspect, not an ally. And things spiral down from there. Controlled by superstition and fear, you’ll refuse to eat her food. Maybe she “spiked” it. Soon your mother-in-law will become a witch. Along with her daughters, they’re a coven of witches. Why won’t you just spare yourself arrant and suspicious spirituality and just go and get yourself a job?

I have said it before: there’s the sentimentality of love. But there’s also the dutifulness of love. Love portends responsibility. Love has a disciplinary component. Love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious, love is not boastful or proud… Love doesn’t demand its own way, love hardly notices when the other does it wrong… Those definitions of love are beyond sentimentalism. They bespeak restraint, discipline and responsibility. Love is responsible and disciplined.

Now I don’t know the philosophy you subscribe to as per marriage…(Every marriage is guided by a philosophy of life)… But where I’m coming from, a man must be responsible for his wife and kids. He must provide for them. And your financial responsibility is independent of the income of your wife, though you can create a combine. But if you subscribe to the notion of being a house-husband, all well and good. It’s your choice and I respect that. It’s a new sociology, but don’t complain you’re not accorded respect. If you want respect as man- and respect means a lot to us men, be financially responsible in your marriage. As a man there are things you must do. I’m sure you have expectations of your wife too. But something tells me, deep down no one wants to marry a liability. Everyone wants an asset. And no one wants to marry a depreciating asset either, or redundant asset. Redundancy has carrying cost.

And it’s not just about you. You want your son to be proud of you as a father. You want him to emulate you. You want to be a worthy example to your son, to be a living example. It may be tough paying those school fees at times but all the young man wants to know is, “Daddy is trying!” Have you ever wondered why the children of drunks hate their father? Think about it. It’s not just that he’s raucous and uncontrollable and a social disgrace. There’s also the issue of him debilitating the only productive asset in the home- their mother. In principle, an irresponsible father is no different from that drunk. Irresponsibility is a common factor. Get a job. It might not be the ideal job you want but your wife knows you’re doing something. And your little son knows Daddy is working hard, struggling. He will pray for you. And you pass on to your son the values of work ethic, honesty, discipline, self-worth. If your son doesn’t imbibe those values your old age may not be pleasant.

The woman has to handle the social disgrace of no money in marriage. She has to buy goods on credit. And she has friends. She either has to keep lying (and they know she’s lying) or relate in shame. That’s not saying you should be like the Joneses. Much of the avowed prosperity of the Joneses is a mirage. You never know the true story about the Joneses. And your name is not Tom Jones. So there’s the contentment side to manliness, being proud of what you’ve achieved so far, hoping for the best. No, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about laboring with your own hands and looking out for opportunities. And when opportunities come, grabbing them with both hands… Being diligent in the pursuit of the future. 

But if you start making excuses for non-achievement, you’re going to turn it into a philosophy.

And please don’t hate what you desire. Stop hating the successful. Not every successful person is crooked. I’m just saying the pressure won’t stop on your marriage until you sort out the money angle. Get a job! You start somewhere and you progress. The longer you put off getting into employment the more you defer the future. Don’t allow life overtake you. And you know that’s happening when your colleagues are zooming past you. And that’s my ounce of advice. What you do with it is really up to you.

Your mentor, LA.
© Leke Alder 

You can reach Leke Alder via:

#Letr2Jil: Sons of Belial by Leke Alder

Dear Jil

There are those who dedicate the quantum of their life to the ruin of others. 
They are sons of Belial. Perhaps you ought to ask yourself, 
“Is this genuine love, or am I a bet?

My dear Jil, I want to tell you a story. Though allegorized, it is nonetheless a true story. The moral intone makes it a cautionary tale, especially for a girl your age and marital prospect status.

There was this lovely young lady, about 23. Tall, dark and slenderly… Let’s call her Bisi. She was pure of heart…Lily white… Nice young woman, beautiful… A good girl. She dedicated herself to her Lord and Master Jesus the Christ, and that involved certain decisions. Like the decision that she would save it until marriage. She was a virgin. To use your generational parlance, she was keeping it for her husband. The pressures were there but she kept her word.

In one of those paradoxes of life purity has a magneto-optical relationship with evil. Goodness attracts evil. And so the purity of Bisi came to the attention of certain sons of Belial. These were jackals and hyenas lusting after prey. And Bisi in her gentle and innocent ways looked defenseless, like an impala on the savannah plains of Africa. And so the sons of Belial took a bet as to who would successfully disvirginise this innocent girl. Bisi became a wager, a chip on life’s roulette table, a probabilistic chattel of defilement schemers. John picked up the gauntlet and placed the highest bet. He swore he would bed her before the end of the year. And so Bisi the young woman unschooled in the ways of the world became a high value target. John laid out a simple devious plan. Such a plan can only be inspired by the Evil One.

As Bisi came home from church one evening, singing choruses in her head, John made a move. He greeted her like the Serpent might have greeted Eve. And so began the long slow march of deception. He soon convinced her he was a penitent sinner and would like to know more about her faith. In every scenario of temptation there’s always an entry point. And John located one. They were soon chatting about his conversion, and before long John began to follow her to church. And he spoke in “tongues”. Only his glossolalia was not inspired of God’s Spirit. It was a realistic piece of fakery. But so was Bisi convinced John was a brother in the Lord. He was earnest about his newfound faith, seemed most willing to learn. And he loved going to church.

Proximity breeds relationship. In time Bisi developed a kinship with John. God had sent a brother through her good deeds. Hallelujah! And you know how it is. Other type of tongues began to wag: Innocent Bisi has found a love interest. Praise the Lord! The power of suggestion impacted on Bisi’s psyche, and she began to see John for more than he truly was. John bided his time, and in time popped the question. Bisi asked for time to pray and she said it with coquetted innocence. But John knew the answer. Bisi did pray to be honest, but she was praying to the answer, like we all do, laying out her conviction. She did feel a teeny weeny check in her being, but her desires made the vitals almost imperceptible. Since whatever it was was not registering in clangs and cymbals she smoothed it over. But it did persist, for some time, like a whining noise no one knows the source of. There were times Bisi wondered, like one taking a huge decision in doubt, like one on the very roof of a high building. You see the expanse of sky but you seem lost and don’t know which way to go. The expanse is disorienting. All around you, life stretches out in every direction. There are no coordinates, no cardinal points apparent.

She was afraid of doubting her doubt. She couldn’t see why not, though she couldn’t see why either. She was at that age a young woman wants what other young women have- someone with proprietary rights over her heart. And the idea of marriage was giddy. She had a secret joy from the very thought. If you understand the graphics of the subconscious you will know that it sometimes projects visual bumps in 4D. You “feel” a non-mellifluous bump…like a subtle speed breaker on the road frequented by your decision. Bisi felt this bump. Soft, like a subtle hint of undisclosed information. Gentle. But she over-ruled the data. The vision of becoming a bride overtook her sensitivity of heart. And soon they were planning the wedding and Bisi considering wedding gowns and styles. Bisi’s father was a pastor- a pastor in one of the brand name legacy Pentecostal denominations. He felt uneasy and raised objections that had no definition. Something wasn’t right. But since he couldn’t articulate a rational basis for his objections he was over-ruled by the happiness of his daughter. How do you dash your daughter’s happiness and make her unhappy? She looked forward to marriage. And Bisi’s mum set about making preparations for the wedding with the gusto of an evangelical mission.

And so the day came. And Bisi wore white. And she said I do. And then came the reception. To everyone’s surprise John’s friends began to chant a song, “You don win O!” The operative word is “win”. And being a son of Belial, John introduced beer at the reception, to spite the evangelical sensitivity of Bisi’s daddy. He knew Bisi’s father had disapproved of him. Bisi had told him about her father’s initial objections. Girls do that, having convinced themselves it is an involuntary response of a father’s “losing” of his daughter. At the beer, Bisi’s father stomped out of the hall. It was a blight on his evangelical credential as a pastor. But he was a very sad man who blamed himself for not sticking up for what he “knew” in his heart. John didn’t stop there. Having secured his prize he set about ill treatment of his bride. He soon began to beat her, badly. Of course he slept with her on the wedding night. It was like rape. And he accomplished it before the year ran out. I’m sure you cannot imagine a young man dedicating his life to the ruin of another but these things happen.

The dynamics of Bisi’s ordeal are no different from that of a rich older woman past her prime who marries wrong. If she marries a calculating young wretch who bides his time until after the wedding to manifest she’ll suffer. He now lives in her house, uses her cars, eats her food and has sex with her. The sex makes him feel empowered. Who could have imagined such a woman can beg HIM for sex! He’s now dominating someone way, way beyond his status. He could never imagine being on top of her.

There are those who dedicate the quantum of their life to the ruin of others. They are sons of Belial. Perhaps you ought to ask yourself, “Is this genuine love, or am I a bet? Am I a target of an impotent young man?” Naivety is a sin of foolishness. You can’t afford to be na├»ve about this life.

Your mentor, LA.
© Leke Alder | 

Contact Leke Alder via:
Twitter: @Leke_Alder 

We have distributed 81% of PVCs – INEC -

- may extend PVC collection in Lagos, Ogun and Plateau states 

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said 56, 350, 776 of the 68, 833, 476 Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, meant for this year’s general election – 81.87 per cent of the cards – had been collected by their owners across the country.

The deadline for the collection of the permanent voter cards for this year’s general election is Sunday 22nd March, 2015. Ahead of the deadline set by INEC, the commission said it had received the remaining voter cards meant for Lagos, Ogun, and Plateau states.

Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, said all the outstanding PVCs were received Thursday and had been distributed to the affected states, which were among states that had shortages.

But with respect to the latest date for the collection of the PVCs nationwide, it was learnt that there may be a further extension in Lagos, Ogun, and Plateau states to enable registered voters in the states to collect their cards.

Speaking on the conclusion of the PVCs distribution exercise, the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said at the weekend that the party was satisfied with the level of distribution ahead of the poll.

But a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP group, PDP Integrity Vanguard, frowned at what it called INEC’s insistence on the use of PVCs and Smart Card Readers for the election, reiterating the party’s indisposition to the use of the device.

In a statement by Senator Aniette Okon and Chief Sergeant Awuse, the group claimed that the resolve to use the electronic voter authentication device was an invitation to chaos and a recipe for anarchy during the elections.

INEC had admitted 41 per cent fingerprint failure during the card reader test run, but said it fully achieved the other three cardinal goals of voter authentication that had motivated the introduction of the PVC and card reader.

INEC plans to hold a stakeholders meeting with all the political parties, civil society groups, and other stakeholders on Tuesday, in a final discussion before the polls.