Parenthood in the age of democracy

Parenthood in the age of democracy

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Sometime in January, I was in London on business, and my children quickly arranged a trip to the Emirates Stadium for me. It was to emerge later that it was not a hastily arranged event, but a well planned outing, put together by children of a businessman and politician.

It turned out that my son, Abba, who was appointed to be my escort to the event, was the primary reason why the event was set up in the first place. Abba had a major announcement to make, and it was that while he was away fro home in America, he had found a lady he loved, and would love to bring her home as wife. I thought that was great news. But on our way home, Abba subtly mentioned that they would like to get married as soon as possible, and that he and his fiancee would like a rather small wedding. At that point, I began to realise why I had been taken to the match, and smiled.

Parenting in the age of democracy is not easy. In my time, I remember that even as a strong willed child without a father figure, my mother, Kande, would put her foot down whenever she needed something to be done, and no child could argue with Kande when she had put her foot down. But in my time, we had learned to allow our children have a say in decision making, especially those which concerned them. It’s what I have termed democratic parenting.

Education, for example, is where my children tend to have a 70% say in where they wanted to go. Some choose to study in Nigeria, and some went abroad. But even when they went abroad, it was mostly to Europe. But Abba decided he was going to America, and he came back with an intelligent, beautiful American lady, whom I have already accepted as a daughter.

But Abba was yet to reveal his hand. It was when we were discussing wedding logistics, when he mentioned that his wife’s family wanted to hold the wedding in Dubai! I could smell an ambush coming, and the Nigerian parent in me was ready to argue.

“But Abba, you know I’m a Nigerian. We like doing these things at home…”

“But dad, you know the wife’s family decides these marriage things”

“I see. But does your wife agree to this?”

“My wife loves it! She is completely in love with the plans”

“Oh, I see…” At that moment, I realised that my children had known I would prefer to host the marriage in Nigeria and had come up with, and knowing that I wouldn’t have a choice, since the wife’s family usually decides wedding plans, found a way to ambush any resistance I could have raised. It was a well executed plan, and I could see that there was no way I could argue. Of course no man would want to argue with his new in-laws at the first turn.

So I went back and put together a counter strategy. The next morning, I called Abba and told him I agree with the entire plan. We can hold a wedding in Dubai, and I will attend with my family. I could see a smile of satisfaction spread across his face, an unspoken “we’ve got the old man.” I played along and discussed the plan with him in detail.

As we finished, and Abba was about the leave the room, I mentioned in an offhanded tone “Oh, Abba, I think after the wedding in Dubai, it would be good for your people in Jada to welcome your new wife to Nigeria. What do you think?”

Inside my heart, I smiled. Just like they had me a day earlier, I had had him too. He could not argue that it wasn’t proper for his extended family and town to meet his new wife. Of course he knew that would be the event where all my family, friends and associates will be invited.

The Nigerian parent in me smiled. Even in the age of family democracy, we have learned to adapt. So all family and friends are welcome to Jada, to witness the marriage reception of my son, and his beautiful wife.


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75 Comments on "Parenthood in the age of democracy"

  • Young says

    This is fresh and funny,

  • nice one, old man, you sure got him. there’s a parable that says what an old man sees sitting down a young man won’t see from the top of a palm tree


    That’s a good development from the Atiku I know from the “BBC GANE MINI HANYA” Hausa interview, where you sounded a bit HARSH and BULLYING.
    I hope to know more of the person of this democrat.
    lest I forget, are we also, social media acquintance, invited to the wedding, if yes, then how ?.

  • prince says

    nice one

  • 18928815 says

    I like this God bless this union bountiful

  • Rhecks says

    Very funny…I smiled through every line of this write-up…Abba should have known that he was dealing with a diplomatic and seasoned democrat…lol

  • Jamiu Tajudeen Ade says

    May Almighty Allah bless the union with good of this world and hereafter.

  • Dan Ibn Akpagher says

    congratulations Turaki! You are indeed one of the greatest strategist to grace our political

  • Prince Ismeal Adda says

    What i learnt form this is that,when you loose,don’t give up.Go back and develop a counter attack,and in the end,you will smile.This man is a great democratic politician.Ride on,BOSS

  • Iboro says

    ‘Old man’ that God has blessed with plentiful ‘sense’ and wisdom. Great leader…

  • Zulai Mtaku says

    Beautiful piece Turaki. I wish your son and his wife a blissful marriage and a beautiful wedding

  • Kili says

    I enjoyed this..I am a youth under 30 and I am of the opinion that Nigerian parents are too domineering.

  • max says

    Nice one your Excellency,a pure African father with Wisdom

  • ihuoma says

    Interesting, enjoyed the storyline and above all the message inherent

  • Ok Good May Allah Bless Abba and His Lovely Wife to be

  • Benjamin says

    Is inspiring, happy married life Abba.

  • Olumuyiwa Farayibi says

    This is funny and well planned on both the children and dad. Wishing them a blissful marriage.

  • Joeadamxx says

    This good natured family stuff. We all get played by our children nowadays as they tend to think they’re smarter. I think he still got you finally sir, as you will be footing the bill!

  • funmi says

    nice write up as a parent you have done the right thing to accept and dialogue not impose on your son.

  • Waw!!! Nice post, how I wish I will be there!

  • Uzoma. says

    Nice move. Wishing them a blissful marriage .

  • eneje. hillary says

    Congratulations my abba happy married life turaki nice decision frm a democrat

  • Bawuros says

    Congrats Abba.. May Allah bless ur union..Ameen .

  • OLAIDE says

    Congratulation in advance!

  • jerry chima says

    sir u did not give us d date. am asking cos am a strong fan of ur brain and would like 2 attend from Abuja if i can be guided very well 2 d venue.

  • Bashir BALA says

    Nice one my Dear President insha Allah. Allah ya albarkaci auren.

  • ademola says

    Congratulations sir,for being a leader,father and a source of inspiration.Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Adanu Isaiah says


  • aliyu abdulkadir mai shelleng says

    I wish all parents would understand such things…

  • Mushafau Akisanya says

    What a smart one. .am learning fast from you Turaki. Please keep us posted. .I know Akinsanya Family will be around…am not at home now.

  • bello says

    Nice, effective counter-attack…good one sir.

  • Prince Okor Edmond says

    This is very interesting and encouraging of a parent, there is a moral lesson to this, Nigeria is developing hence Democrative parenting should be encouraged. Bravo Sir

  • Smart C. Amaefula says

    I like this sir

  • Femi says

    It’s always refreshing to read from you sir. Full of wisdom. My prayer is the rest of Nigeria be given the opportunity to be b able to share and gain from this wisdom and heart of yours as our president and leader. Nigeria need you.

  • ishaq ningi says

    Well executed plan indeed, counter by a more experience mind… Nice 1.

  • Wole says


  • Toju says

    A very fine piece sir.

  • murtala says

    This is great. Wishing them all the best.

  • Tim Melaye says

    This is further demonstrating the democratic nature in you! Liberality for him to marry an American and then have the wedding at their location of choice, but wise enough to pull them back to root!

    Great mind!

  • sirOscie.......... says

    Nice one SIR! Happy married life to Abba and his wife. More grand children Turaki.

  • Nice & funny; outmaneuvering & outflanking..Congrats Turaki!! – Tox

  • Munnir says


  • Vera O. says

    A strategist, a true democrat and a seasoned administrator I will call you! This is why you are always ten millions miles ahead of others.

  • Mbaz says

    Congrats to you our respected Turaki. On the other hand I hope Abba and his spouse signed a prenuptial agreement. Just saying. I wish them well.

  • Aliyu Umar (Sa'in Zazzau) says

    when is it coming up sir?

  • osita says

    Beautiful one sir…good to know people like you can relate very well with their children…a lesson to so many fathers out there who only command, order and bully.

  • Lol @ “….and I mentioned in a offhanded tone..” now that was the catch

  • Obukoadata Presly says

    Excellent piece. But Sir, why did you hide rgia brilliance away from the public while you were in office? You played much of master stroke politics then than leaving a legacy of idwalogies that will reshape the world. More of this please. And congrats to the the schemer Abba, if I have a father like his, I will even scheme more more and even scheme he Jadda thing away with a pre schedule work call that ll draw me to the USA minutes after the marriage. After all, daddy love it when his kids are industrious and their worth appreciated through emergency calls.

    • Habeebulahi says

      I am sorry to say Turaki was unfortunate to serve under PDP, we would have enjoyed him more if he was challenged. This man is blessed and brilliant.

  • Otunba Olamilekan Sanni says

    Hhhuuummmm!. Democracy @ Work. The Turaki Himself. Abba the son is Wise, Atiku the Father is Wiser. Keep us informed on the date of the Nigeria Version (Part 2) of the Wedding.

  • Aisha says

    Very good.

  • Waow! Today, at last, I got the reason to be a fan of Atiku’s! God bless the union, and may the children always remember they have a wealth of experience and wisdom to tap from their dad!

  • GeekoXX says

    Abba forgot he’s dealing with a smart dad, a diplomat.

  • Turaki Adamawa himself,that was great sir,

  • khaleel Ahidjo Idris says

    Smiling all through while reading this story. Turaki, I must say that am moved. Abba is a smart son ∂ŋd Turaki democrat/diplomat father. May Allah bless the union. Sai to on waddi mbangado man Jada mi wara mi walla seyo. As a fan ∂ŋԃ supporter of you ∂ŋԃ ur political ideologies I will soon invite you ∂ŋԃ your family to my wedding, insha Allah

  • Habeebulahi says

    God bless the union. The story is educative and lovely. God bless your family at large.

  • Muhammad. says

    Good Enough for a patriot.

  • So great and waste of money.

  • Aliyu Mustapha Isa jada says

    Hmmm. We in jada will be very happy to welcome u and ur family back home. But I just pray ur securitys allow us in.. Allah hokku jam be jode jam.

  • succes says

    Wao splendid! Wat a nice story I will b glad to witness it

  • inuwa1 says

    That’s very interesting. Allah ya raya mana Su. Allah yasa Albarka a awren, ameen.

  • lucky george{ Managing Director,Mg Kitchen Abuja} says

    Atiku is one the finest Northern Nigerian who have been able to win me as a person. I love ur person and personality. Waiting for your decision in 2015.Hoping to be invited to the marriage.

  • Adewale says

    Ohun ti agbalagba fi hun je eko is under the leaf of Eko

  • Ahmed says


  • Yakubu says

    Parenting done right, wow what a lovely decision making, HML to ur son.

  • umar says

    A well strategic plan to treat the children on a different lane


    What a hogwash to the gullible that failed too add simple maths; if Atiku is a man let him take up baba OBJ dare and go do marriage in Mr Silver home country USA or bride mother country Saudi, if the authorities wouldn’t arrest him.

    He is lying with his teeth open and few can’t see reason why Dubai was picked. UAE is one among the 84 countries with extradiction treaty with US.

    Atiku I dare you go do marriage for US and lets put OBJ to shame

  • rashida says

    Hmm Allah ya kyauta

  • The more I read about Sir Atiku, the more I get facinated with the ex-Nigeria#2 man. His simplicity and approach to life. Reminded me of my dad who till today is my best friend. May the lord bless the union of the new couples. Congratulations Sir!

  • El Komo says

    Ha ha…that’s a gotcha moment!

  • bholla says

    Divine wisdom from you sir! So the couple will succum to his Nigerian fatherm on point!

  • Love this little piece ! Congratulations !

  • My friend my mentor ,you never cease to amaze me!I wish I could be part of this wonderful n beautiful moment.May Allah bless this union now and ever
    Abba should have known T uraki is never beaten.


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