Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Leaders squabbling with their "vices"

Tony Blair is on all the front pages today having delivered a rousing speech at the Labour party conference indicating that he intends to push forward with every aspect of his agenda which has been interpreted as a snub to Gordon Brown, his Chancellor of the Exchequer and heir presumptive whose speech the previous day had been interpreted as a pre anointing speech. Cherie, Tone's wife rubs it in with her comment to a BBC reporter that leaving Downing Street is still a loooong time away.

I find the parallels funny as Nigeria's president is at this moment embroiled in a row with his Vice President and it is turning nasty with veiled threats on both sides to release dirty facts on the other party. While the instability might not augur well for the country generally, I do wish that they would both go public so that we would know what they'd both been up to. Because I'm sure they know what funny deals they all have been up to. Sadly, there's not much chance of that happening as with most Nigerian political quarrels it will all be probably settled "as a family matter" which simply means they'll both realize that it is best for them both to keep their skeletons firmly in the cupboards

An interesting aspect of all these squabbles is how the wives get drawn in.... Piers Morgan suggests that Cherie Blair and Sara Brown are barely civil; and in Nigeria it has long been common knowledge that Mrs Abubakar and Mrs Obasanjo can hardly sit in the same room. The most amusing bit was when Atiku Abubakar, the Nigerian vice president took a new wife a couple of years ago (as a Muslim, he's entitled to four wives- although eyebrows were raised as he was alleged to have divorced one of his already full complement of four wives to marry this one)..... Anyway, new wife decides to make her presence felt by launching a new foundation to tackle health problems.....(it's what the wives of Nigeria's leaders do...they all have pet projects ostensibly funded privately) in an ostentatious ceremony in faraway Washington and Mrs Obasanjo, in a vital snub to the first Mrs Abubakar is pictured smilingly presiding over the event.

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