A love letter to my sweet Valentine, By Victor Ehikhamenor
My dear love,
I have no other way of calling you but by the very name that bring great men to their knees. Whenever it’s Valentine, you make me act like drunk African head of state and randy French president.
Your voice is sweeter than a newly serviced Jenkins sound-proof generator. You smell like fresh mint Abuja dollars withdrawn from Central Bank during a ruling party’s national convention.
Your love for me is richer than NNPC and surer than SURE-P. Honey, you are my subsidy, without you I look like a bad welfare case.
Sweetie pie, you always stand by me, no matter the opposition’s position against me. If not for your foresightedness , I would have foolishly run to Ghana and live a lonely immigrant life, eating sour kenke by day and feeding on dead dreams by night in a country without light or foresight.
Your beauty radiates round our entire house, your megawatt is uncountable. If Nigeria had problem with consistent electricity, we would not have felt it because you light up our lives.
My darling you are my first lady, my petroleum minister, my finance minister, and you are my aviation minister who make it possible for me to fly first class round the world. Explaining how much I love you is like trying to explain our national budget, and you and I know even if you bring the MD of World Bank, that is a fruitless exercise. Baby I love you so much that the earth shakes under me whenever I see a little sadness on your face.
When we watch Nollywood movies together, you make Genevieve and Omotola look like village fish sellers. Your luminous skin makes Lupita look like a street beggar in Nairobi.
I don’t even know how to express my love for you this Valentine. Trust me, I really want to do something that has never been done before. Sending you to Dubai to shop is clichéic. Plastic surgery and age reducing surgeries are for insecure and bored African first ladies, but you are dazzlingly ageless my love, you don’t need any artificial enhancement. I have thought of giving you automatic ticket to be a senator in Abuja but that is not even novel. I already gave BMW cars to all your friends who came for your birthday party in December. I am at lost to how I should celebrate you this Valentine.
Honey bun, when that Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, said “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close”, he was referring to us.
When I look into your eyes, the mist in them make me misty, like a politician receiving news of oil bloc allocation for the price of a he-goat in Ariaria market.
I love you so much my heart aches as if I am an old man whose pension funds have been siphoned to a Swiss bank account by a government worker.
Sweetie pie your love is my bullet-proof German car against aristos, my import license that brings me home to you everyday, my inexhaustible sovereign wealth fund account that pays for my expensive drinks with friends during EPL football matches.
Baby please don’t ever leave me, because if you do my heart will be deserted like a town with Boko Haram insurgents. Stay with me so that we both can enjoy Nigeria’s wonderful cassava bread that needs no butter. We can take the Wi fi enabled love train from Lagos to Kano and back, soaking in our lush countryscape we rescued from Lord Lugard’s children. I promise I will never take a selfie with another woman during our stop at Lokoja to photograph the confluence of River Niger and River Benue.
My wonderful love, lets not go to the Louvre in Paris this Valentine, tarry with me in this lovely cultured land. We can go to our vibrant National Museum of Arts and from there to our Museum Of Contemporary Art and enjoy the pulsating arts of our motherland.
Lets hold hands and stroll on our paved boardwalks from Yaba to Onipanu, enjoying the beautiful flowers and trees, stopping by cafes to drink cold coffees and sip sweet teas. Lets laugh and stuff each other with snacks we can barely pronounce their names. We can catch the latest play at our exquisitely maintained National Theater at Iganmu before the box office closes.
Baby, inside this cold air-conditioned master bedroom, warm me like Sokoto sun. I want to pant and run for your love this Valentine like you were a fine country and I am a desperate incumbent presidential candidate.