By Sunday Oyinloye
For those who are aspiring to get married and those having issues with their marriages, Tuesday, December, 19, 2023 will remain ever green in their minds.
It was a day former Nigerian Ambassador to Mozambique, Albert Gbolahan Omotayo presented his book titled “ Fifty Reasons Why I Love You” , inaugurated a literary award in honor of his wife, and also marked his partner’s 50th birthday. Call it a day to learn how to have a happy home, you will be right
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Omotayo who was a Private Secretary to former President Olusegun Obasanjo when he was the Federal Commissioner for Works in the 70S and later as the Head of State said the battle against marriage and the family is fierce and sustained, yet soft and elusive.
According to him, marriage institution is on its way to extinction while infantilism and criminal propensities are fast being accepted as the new normal.
Ambassador Omotayo who also inaugurated Qoodrat Adebola Abeni Omotayo Literary Award (QAAOLA) in honour of his wife said the rate of separation and divorce in the country is soaring stressing that this could only be checked with true love and strong marriage institution.
His words: “The rate of separation and divorce is soaring everywhere, the socio-intellectual movements which articulate marriage to be bondage that must be broken are gaining more ground and their disciples are fast growing
“ The world is getting drowned deeper in the sea of consumerism and instant creation, the root of world-wide economic hardship and inter-personal intolerance which is in turn pushing our humanness to a dangerous limit and making ordinary relationships increasingly more difficult to maintain.”
Omotayo lamented that values in all walks of life are being turned upside-down in a counter-cultural protest against “old “culture and tradition.
The retired Diplomat said he wrote the book not only to promote good family value system in Nigeria, but to also appreciate his wife whom he noted staunchly believes in marriage institution and transparently lives it.
On why he inaugurated a non-profit organization for his wife who is also an Author, and who turned 50 on Tuesday, Ambassador Omotayo said “The NGO is a literary award because the crusade is not about laws, it is about the reorientation of human mind which can be challenged and move to change only through writings in all manners of genre”
In his remarks, a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada commended Ambassador Omotayo for coming up with a book that touches on love at the family level and advised Nigerians to read the book which he noted is capable of strengthening family ties and creating a better society.
Omotayo’s wife, Abeni who is a former Chairperson of Ekiti State Chapter of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists(NAWOJ), said she would continue to impact on lives and not relent in her efforts at promoting literary arts. She commended her husband for being a pillar of support.
Reviewing the book, an accomplished Author, Salamatu Sule said the book; Fifty Reasons Why I Love You is a praise poetry collection in celebration of love and genuine devotion through the eyes of the poet personae as a tribute to his wife herein referred to as Alob.
According to her “ Love here as the author puts it, is in the context of creation, and as such, be treated as important as the divine love that is between a man and a woman through an institution called marriage.
“It is worthy to note that God Almighty created everything in pairs including his creation, Adam for Eve to coexist in love and devotion for one another.
“The question about who is a companion and a confidant won’t arise if it was ever possible for a man or a woman to traditionally succeed on his own as behind every successful husband is his ever-supportive wife and to every Duke is his dear Duchess as well as the King and his quintessential Queen.
“While a companion provides mutual support, understanding, and the enjoyment of each other’s company, a confidant plays a crucial role in providing emotional support, advice, and a non-judgmental space for open communication”.
She said the 121-page book could be best described as an oral praise song; a typical kind of musical composition that is primarily intended to express admiration, homage, or positive sentiments towards a person of which Alobe is the subject matter of today’s discourse, “stressing You will agree with me that this kind of relationship is like a fairytale made in heaven orchestrated by God Almighty”.
Salamatu disclosed further “The institution called marriage is not an easy feat, it comes with its turbulence just like the tongue would argue with the teeth but important is the ability of the couple to stick together in peace and harmony.
“ Many have fallen short in sustaining the tenets of marriage as they fail to sustain their rights and responsibility thereby allowing for a third party and then love erupts and finally capsizes.
“The love described here has endured the test of time and is worth celebration and commendation.
“The poet personae takes us through the phase of his journey to wooing his wife years after the passing on of his first wife and what a fantastic love relationship!
“Omotayo describes the wooing as that of the hunter aiming his cupid in the field of hunting, and it was Ablob’s heart it caught and that showed Alob’s love is proof of his gallantry.”
“Fifty Reason’s Why I love you is a collection of love Odes about two lovebirds something we couldn’t find to read from the dairies of Cleo Patra(s) and the Helens of Troy.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Professor Vicky Sylvester commended Ambassador Omotayo for writing the book.
She said the author’s books are always rich in content and speak to the younger generation adding “he focuses on the positive side of life”
Professor Sylvester described Omotayo’s wife as a virtuous woman, a point which was reechoed by a former National President of Association of Nigerian Authors, Denja Abdullahi.
Also speaking at the event, Omotayos’ family physician, Dr. Isaac Olubanjo Akerele described the diplomat as a humble man from whom he has gained much wisdom about the journey of life, stressing that his wife is a blessing to him.
Everyone who spoke at the event praised the couple for being a good example of perfect husband and wife.
It was indeed a day for the young and old to learn as Ambassador Omotayo went down the memory lane to reveal how he met his wife, how they became husband and wife, and the secrets behind the success of their marriage.