How My Wife of 30 Years Stood By Me in the Difficult Military Era- Onanuga, NAN MD

How My Wife of 30 Years Stood By Me in the Difficult Military Era- Onanuga, NAN MD

Saturday, May 25, 2019 8:48 am


Mr and Mrs Onanuga

 

Ademola Adegbamigbe

Every man, like Mr Bayo Onanuga, daring journalist, one of the thorns in the flesh of the military and now Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria, confronts his own crossroads. At such critical moments, a wife plays a role either for good or for ill. His wife, Toyin (nee Machado), played a fine role.

On the negative side have been women like Lady Macbeth, one of Shakespeare’s most famous and frightening female characters who emboldened  her husband, Macbeth, to kill King Duncan and Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI of France. On the positive have been women like Hannah Dideolu Awolowo, wife of the great sage, avatar of an era, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Ganiat Fawehinmi (wife of the stormy petrel,  lawyer and human rights advocate, Gani Fawehinmi), whose 70th birthday Nigerians marked this week.

Just like any other man confronted with options, Onanuga also, at a point, found himself at the fork of human highway! He perched on the horn of dilemma.  As Editor of African Concord, his magazine had just published a cover story on Ibrahim Babangida which made the military President to blow his top. He complained to the publisher, MKO Abiola who wanted Onanuga to apologise. What would he do? When the chips are down and push comes to shove, this is when a wife, a good one at that, comes in handy. What happened? He did not. He resigned and he, and his colleagues, Babafemi Ojudu, Dapo Olorunyomi, Kunle Ajibade, Seye Kehinde, moved out to (in concert with Idowu Obasa, an accountant) found TheNEWS magazine.

In Onanuga’s own words: “’I remember three years after our wedding in April 1992 that I needed to take a life-changing, life-defining decision whether to remain in Concord as editor following the demand by the publisher that I write a letter of apology to Gen. Babangida . She was then heavily pregnant. And I was heavily broke. I was stunned when she advised me to quit the job, rather than subject myself to the humiliation of an apology.

‘How are we going to survive? I asked.

‘We shall manage with my income,’ she said.

With home support guaranteed, I had no problem penning my resignation in April 1992. The rest is history.”’

This is a great lesson for women. Read Onanuga’s narrative below:

My Wife and I: 30 Years of Our Marriage

 

How time flies! I can’t believe that I have been married to my beautiful wife for 30 years. Every day, she still looks like the young lady I met in 1988, in her parents’ home and straightaway made the decision to marry her, moments after some introduction.

Our relationship was consummated on 25 May 1989.I have never regretted the decision.

Since then, she has been more than my wife, lover and mother of our lovely Barrister daughter Tobi. She is my first editor, chief adviser and everything else.

I remember three years after our wedding in April 1992 that I needed to take a life-changing, life-defining decision whether to remain in Concord as editor following the demand by the publisher that I write a letter of apology to Gen. Babangida. She was then heavily pregnant. And I was heavily broke. I was stunned when she advised me to quit the job, rather than subject myself to the humiliation of an apology.

“How are we going to survive? I asked.

“We shall manage with my income”, she said.

With home support guaranteed, I had no problem penning my resignation in April 1992. The rest is history.

Then came the guerrilla years, the June 12 struggle, when our job as journalists became nomadic and dangerous, when we stayed out of our homes, to avoid endangering the home front, weeks of being locked up by the SSS or the Police. Then also came months of exile in the US before Gen. Abacha’s death. My wife weathered through all the travails, along with our daughter.

Whatever I am today, I thank her for it.
And I hope both of us will still be around for many more years in love and harmony

 


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2 Comments

  • Batili Ashabi says:

    Sincere congratulations to Mr and Mrs Onanuga on their 30th wedding anniversary. Mr Onanuga no doubt has found a good wife. May many more years of marital bliss be enjoyed by both of them.

  • Sylvanus says:

    This is so touching.
    Women have a ministry.
    I term it:
    Women Information Ministry.
    What information is your woman projecting to you?
    Is it courage and strength to strive on or is it to discourage and seemingly fall your hand?
    Be mindful.
    Am indeed very touched by this background story about my former MD I worked for 7 years.

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