From FCMB to Dangote: Banana Peels that Brands Must Avoid

No one rushing from their house for an urgent meeting will want to accidentally step or slide on a banana peel dropped carelessly at the doorstep. The consequences could be like breaking a piece of digestive biscuit. One can never determine the lines things will “break” and the location of the harm that may follow. Right now some big personality brands in the country have stepped wrongly on some banana peels, and are sliding dangerously, trying to grab any object in sight to mitigate a total fall. It leaves one to ponder if the imagery of banana, used by most libido merchants selling performance enhancement drugs all over, was not inspired by the dangers of the covering thrown carelessly by the walkway.

Presently, three top personality brands, two from the top echelon of Nigeria’s business circle and a third, a top politician in public service are all sliding on the banana peel that fell from the “hot laps” of some very bold daughters of Eve. The glory of the boardroom and that of the revered chambers of public service seem to be falling from high places.

No one facing facts will comfortably declare that – Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, the Managing Director of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Adam Nuru, and the Ogun State Commissioner of Environment, Abiodun Abdul are sleeping with their two eyes closed, at least in the last one week. These are men that have so much going for them – robust careers, seemingly good life, quality company of friends, partners and colleagues, the plaudits of society and of course, robust and very secure financial environment. They are personality brands by all standards.

Aliko Dangote is a self-made man who is absolutely in-charge of his environment. If he maintains some level of taciturnity, he could, with time, parry attention from this issue. But for corporate institutions and public service, it might not be quite smooth. Getting to the position of Managing Director of any commercial bank is rarely achieved overnight. The average Nigerian also knows what it takes, and the horse trading involved in the appointment of commissioners. Any sudden and genuine threat to such solid and ordered life styles could be very unpalatable.

Sex and the human libido have very extraordinary physiological and emotional complements. Psychology, medical science and even religion have not fully succeeded in creating a workable solution to tame this instinctively innate craving. Through the ages, sex has played vital roles in shaping and reshaping the destinies of men and women, nations and kingdoms, and in redefining societies with the capacity to wrought drastic and often devastating changes.

Citing some religious cases, every Bible reader will remember King David, God’s favourite king of ancient Israel. While taking a stroll through the balcony of his palace, his eyes wandered around the neighbourhood and rested on the naked flesh of his neighbour’s wife. What followed set off a chain of events which ensured that David never knew peace again till the end of his life.

Fast forward a bit to the product of that marital indiscretion in the person of Solomon, equally reputed to be the wisest man to ever walk the face of the earth, with wealth, power, and fame to go with it. He was brought down by lust for women. Who will forget the story of Samson and Delilah? Without firing a shot, many great men, many great empires have been brought down by the awesome electrical “banana peel” that is fixed at the bosom and between the thighs of a woman.

In this recent world, several glittering personality brands have been suffocated and vaporized on the hot laps of women. Remember how Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the United States and then the most powerful man in the world, wept like a baby on national television over Monica Lewinsky. The event brought about a new term in the English dictionary – inappropriate relationship. Paul Wolfowitz, former World Bank President and one of the most powerful men in America met a fatal end when he was caught. He not only resigned a very lucrative job but fell-over the banana peel and lost a huge severance pay of $120 million.

This is also translucent in sports and entertainment. There is the former world boxing champion, Mike Tyson, a human dynamo, who boasted that he could tear a lion apart with his bare hands? When he stepped on banana peel with Desiree Washington, a former beauty queen, Tyson commenced a rapid descent that ended in jail. He lost everything – career, fame, fortune and all. Tiger Woods, the greatest golfer of all time could not jump over this banana peel as well. The list is endless.

Coming home, can anybody forget Fidelis Oyakhilome, former military Governor and the pioneer NDLEA boss during the Babangida era? This gentleman was brought down by a Lagos socialite, Jennifer Madike. The scandal was so salacious that at the end of it, Oyakhilome went into permanent oblivion. Interestingly the case of the late General Abacha, the most powerful ruler Nigeria ever had, was linked to the banana peel from the laps of imported pleasure dolls.

Even the ivory tower has not been spared either. Who can forget the “cold room” experience of the University of Lagos or Prof Richard Iyiola Akindele of the OAU who was earlier jailed for 6 years for trying to lure his student into what many will call “an inappropriate relationship”?

With all certitude, there are indications that Adam Nuru and Commissioner Abiodun Abdul will not be the last top personalities to make headlines on this sensitive issue. The uncomfortable truth is that some top guns want to sleep with ladies and some young ladies want to sleep with the big boys. As long as gun powder needs fire to ignite, and as long as both are willing to cohabit, conflagrations are bound to occur from time to time.

sex scandal
Adam Nuru – Managing Director FCMB

There are lots of lessons to learn while co-existing in a world where morality does not count, and where pretence and treachery are acceptable ways of life, particularly where those campaigning on change.org might be propelled by anything but justice and righteousness. This is a world where consenting adults in a relationship must view with suspicions anytime a partner fidgets with the phone, especially during “unguarded” hours. Either of the partners might just be taking some shots that could be uploaded to the whole world on the information superhighway, just to embarrass a lover who broke his or her heart in “1000 pieces”. The situation is further compounded as long-winding stories that do not really add up are bandied all over, with everyone calling for the head of the man, even when the law says you are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Even with all these hullabaloo, there are issues that demand a second look. One of them is the case of sexual harassment against Ogun state Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abdul. The whole story is not quite consistent, especially with the father of the girl involved now saying that he would want to discontinue the case, claiming that there were “some misunderstanding and misconceptions between my daughter and the commissioner along the line”. It is interesting that the police are not falling for this request. What are those “misconceptions”? The public needs to know.

In all these, one fact is that in most cases of this nature, the punishment will come not necessarily because the accused is guilty, but majorly to prevent further collateral damages to the institutions and organisation linked to the case. Thus it makes great sense to be careful how people relate with one another, especially when the obligations of an office confer some responsibilities on the holder.

In any organised environment, there are clear and specific guidelines and acknowledgements all parties must follow as regards sexual decorum. This protects the society, as well as defines the responsibilities and behavioural guidelines of everyone operating within it. Regrettably, even with these boundaries, one still finds many who try to change the dynamics by exhibiting deviant or compulsive sexual behaviours.

It is key to learn that compulsive sexual behaviour can damage one’s image, future, self-esteem, family relationships, and career. Everyone must face facts about their nature. If your condition is too hot for you to handle seek spiritual, psychological and even medical help. Tiger Woods did it.

With treatment, counselling and self-help, every man – and woman- can learn to manage distracting urges. A recent study in the UK revealing that 1 in 25 children are not fathered by their supposed biological fathers shows that this banana peel is everywhere. The proportion in Nigeria might even be higher if a true study can be organized. There is therefore a need to work, watch and pray. Because if one goes through the banana minefield blindfolded, complaints shouldn’t be made especially when one denotates on a blog or front page of a newspaper in the nearest future.

Ntia Usukuma

Categories: Features

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