The Governor of Rivers State and his wife, Justice Suzette Wike celebrate their 17th year of marriage today, December 19th 2016.
Celebrating the longevity of their successful marriage, the First Lady of Rivers State shares a long, long message about how they met in University and how, after three years, they got to know each other through a mutual friend and a notebook...
"It's funny how life sometimes takes us where we never plan or expect to go. For three years, we sat in the same lecture rooms and halls but never passed a word between each other." she writes.
"It was only after I chanced upon his law notebooks in the possession of a mutual classmate that everything changed.
"At that time, the law books in our library were expired and in most cases not available and we had to find other means to report our Nigerian case law.
"Most of us resorted to copying from others who had lawyer friends they visited in chambers and while there, used their law reports/books...
"It surprised me then, to realise that he was indeed a serious minded student and not as I had earlier perceived. His notes were up to date as he took time to report more cases than were cited by our lecturers, which neccesarily meant better grades if you can put them all down in your answer sheets during tests and examinations."
"I immediately coveted that notebook and pleaded with my classmate to loan me the book after she had finished, promising to return it in two days. She refused.
"Another request with the promise to return it in one day as I was prepared to sit up all night copying those cases, was declined.
"My last plea to photocopy the notebook and return it immediately fell on deaf ears. She told me to seek the permission of the owner, with the belief that I wouldn't dare.
"And of course, she was right to think that as she knew that we had never once spoken to each other. At that point, I inquired from her, his name.
"She replied simply: "Wike". I wondered how odd that name sounded as I'd never heard it before. I also wondered how to approach him as I believed that he disliked me as much as I did him.
"But the desire to have that fully loaded note book was too strong. I could not give up without at least, making an attempt.
"As he passed by us, I called his name as I had just learnt: "excuse me, Wike". He froze and I noticed his shock and disbelief. I started putting my words together, expecting him to scowl at me, thinking in his head - "Oh! So you have decided to talk to me now that you need my notebook eh?
"He didn't let me complete my request. He caught the drift so fast and he spoke to our mutual classmate, telling her to give me his notebook after she had finished with it and he walked off. It was now my turn to be in shock! After I recovered, I started putting the heat on our classmate to give me the book ASAP.
"One borrowed book led to another and yet another borrowed book and soon after, we became friends. I got to see the hardworking, focused, studious and serious minded person he was and still is.
"Before long, there was a marriage proposal. I declined as I didn't see myself as the marrying kind but he wouldn't give up.
"He said to me that the moment he first set his eyes on me when he joined us in our second year out of the more than five years I was in that institution, he knew already that I was going to be his wife.
"That got me even more confused. Having noted all the qualities I had noticed in him, I knew that he was a man with very great prospects or potentials for success, as I'd told him then.
"I therefore decided to accept his proposal and took a chance, believing that he would make me a happy woman. Today, the 19th of December, marks the 17th year we have been together as a married couple.
"He is a man that has exhibited excellent taste .... no wonder he chose and continues to choose me.
"You promised to give me the world at that time but you have given me much more than I could have ever asked for. Our three adorable children are a testimony to that fact and I can't tell you enough, how fulfilled I feel.
"Please permit me to use this medium to share some of the life lessons I have learnt in these past 17 years of marriage, especially in reaching out to encourage our youths who have skewed perceptions about marriage.
"You have to make the right decision about your marriage. I made a decision to become a happy wife 17 years ago, by contributing to build a happy marriage.
"I learnt that marriage in itself doesn't make you happy. You have to make your marriage a happy one. Marriage is not what you get. Marriage is what you bring, what you give and what you do.
"There is no perfect marriage or perfect couples. Rather, when two imperfect friends honour and celebrate each other, they are empowered to build up a great blossoming marriage with flourishing children..."
Among other things, the first lady says everyone needs to challenge themselves to do better in marriage before adding...
"Today, on this occasion of our 17th marriage anniversary, I celebrate my hardworking classmate, friend, lover and husband... Nyesom Ezenwo Nyesom Wike CON. We have been through thick, thin and thinner but just like old wine, it keeps getting better with time.
"Happy 17th Marriage Anniversary to you, my love. May we forever stay young in each others eyes."
Governor Wike and Justice Wike have three children together, a daughter and two sons.
Happy anniversary to the Governor and the First Lady from Pulse Weddings.