Poor Adam Nuhu. The moment the news filtered in a few weeks ago that the erstwhile managing director of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) was accused of eating the forbidden fruit of one of his female underlings, my instincts told me that he was in for a long night. For more than two decades, he had studiously avoided scandal or controversy as he preoccupied himself strictly with banking activities, pledging unwavering loyalty to the marriage with Hauwa, his beautiful wife.
But if there is one thing that cannot be disputed about life, it is its unpredictable nature. Like biscuit, no one knows when or where it would crack, especially when one is surrounded by detractors as seems to be the case with the erstwhile MD of FCMB.
As the story goes, the suspended MD was allegedly engrossed in an amorous relationship with a former female employee of the bank named Moyo, who reportedly bore him two children while she was married to another man. Moyo’s husband was said to have been so shocked at the discovery of the romance between his wife and her boss and the realization that their two children belonged to Nuhu and not he, the authentic husband, that he developed a stroke and later died of heart failure a few days to his proposed wedding with another lady.
In a society of hypocrites where infidelity is considered a sin smaller only than murder, emotions were bound to run wild with loss of life and paternity fraud involved. That became the basis for the outrage that greeted the news and the pressure mounted on the Central Bank of Nigeria and the authorities of FCMB to investigate the matter and sanction Nuhu. It did not take long before the board of FCMB yielded to pressure and ordered Nuhu’s suspension as the MD, appointing Mrs Yemisi Edun as the acting MD.
But just when everyone thought that the former MD had seen the worst, the news filtered out that his wife of many years had deserted him. The ugly prospect of Nuhu losing his exotic and dignifying job as the chief executive officer of the prestigious bank was thus compounded with the threat of a desolate life for the once hearty and bubbly family man. His fate of seeming abandonment by the home front contrasts sharply with the show of solidarity the members of Moyo’s family exhibited for their daughter.
For the alleged love birds, it has been a case of different strokes for different folks. While members of Moyo’s family are rallying round her, defending her desperately and declaring her clean as a hound’s tooth in the allegation of marital infidelity leveled against her, members of Nuhu’s family appear less enthusiastic about sticking their necks out for him even while the result of the investigation ordered by the authorities of FCMB was yet to be made public. It once again provokes the question as to why the male partner is almost always the one at the receiving end in such matters.
But Nuhu must not be left to bear this cross alone, if only for the sake of humanity. Even if he was guilty of the alleged act of misdemeanor, it still will be too much a punishment that a man who once boasted a beautiful wife and another beautiful side chick would suddenly be turned into an absolute recluse. Everyone with any measure of influence on Madam Hauwa must do everything they can to persuade her to return to her matrimonial home immediately. To err, they say, is human and to forgive divine.
As a first step, I recommend that a committee be constituted to look into ways of eliminating the threats to the marriage of the embattled chief executive. Their terms of reference will include establishing the veracity or otherwise of the claim that the erstwhile managing director was in the habit of philandering with female underlings while giving Hauwa the impression that he was working very hard in the office. They would also have to find out from Hauwa if Nuhu has a record of winking at other chicks whenever they were together on social outings.
The committee must of necessity summon Moyo from her base in the US for a physical assessment of her looks, figure and shape with a view to establishing or dismissing the likelihood of Nuhu being attracted by them. While the authorities of FCMB must be commended for insight and thoughtfulness with their decision to opt for a woman as a replacement for the suspended MD, it is important to know what features of a woman can constitute banana peels for future male MDs.
Not the least, the committee will have to find out what lessons other male bosses in the habit of seducing female subordinates can learn from Nuhu’s experience.