Hello folks, welcome to a new series called Hostile waters. It is all about power and who can get it. The younger generation think they can outfox the older one? Who wins this battle?
Alex Akiwaju grinned and took a swirl in his chair. He felt on top of the world. It was his first day as the chairman of Ifemekunu Local Government Area. He had fought hard and tough at the polls. The campaign had been rough. His main opponent, Chief Kosoro had been formidable. The goodwill of his people had decided the outcome and he had won despite the massive elitist support and money Chief Kosoro had behind him.
He smirked as he recalled Chief Kosoro’s visit to his campaign office and how the chief had attempted to pay him off.
‘I love this people, just like you do. Let me do this job.’ The chief had pleaded.
‘I am sorry that I cannot do what you ask’
‘Why is that?’
‘I love my people too. They requested my leadership. That is why I picked up that form’
‘Look Alex, you and I are men of like passions. The difference between us is that I have more friends in high places than you could ever make in a lifetime. Work with me to improve the lot of our people’.
‘I respect you a lot Chief. What you ask of me is impossible.’
‘My son,’ the chief said, lowering his voice. ‘You are stepping on my elderly toes. Our people say a young man cannot have as many rags as his grandfather.’
‘I know that Chief. It is why I want the people to decide what they want at the polls this time’.
‘Alex. I am a man of my words. I will reward you handsomely. You will be a major policy maker in my government. We will build together’.
‘I do not bargain, Chief. I am also a man of my words’.
‘Name your price, Alex. Every man has a price. Is it contracts you desire? Name it!’
‘My dedication to my people is not for sale’.
‘Alex. Do you forget that you benefited from my scholarship schemes when you were a student? You are biting those fingers that fed you’.
Exasperated, Alex stared blankly at Chief Kosoro. He knew the chief was desperate. He decided it was useless to argue.
‘No matter how tall the okra plant gets, the farmer can always pluck its fruit’.
‘Have a nice evening, Chief’, Alex said as he walked out of his office, leaving the Chief inside.
‘You dare walk out on me? Alex! Come back here!’
Alex grinned again. Chief Kosoro had been so worked up. The older man had sworn to make him pay dearly for his juvenile insolence. The people had spoken nonetheless, and he was now the undisputed Chairman.
Remi started walking the other way when she saw Fola approaching. But he was too quick for her. He caught up to her and grabbed her arm.
“You can’t run away from me forever Remi,” Fola said gently.
“I don’t mean to,” Remi whispered, her voice barely audible.
He released her hand and spun her round to face him. “See, I’ve told you how I feel about you. If you don’t feel the same way, that’s not an issue. But please, don’t deny me your friendship.”
She saw his entreating eyes and longed to say something to comfort him.
“I won’t,” Remi said trying to sound convincing.
“Good,” he said smiling at her.
“Are you on your way to class?” he asked.
“Yeah,” she said looking at her watch. “And we are almost late.”
“Alright. Let’s hurry up then,” he said and they quickened their pace, walking together in silence, each busy with their own thoughts.
“He can see you now,” a nurse said to Chidera who was in the waiting room. She practically flew down the hospital corridor to his room.
Richard looked drawn but his face lit into a bright smile when he saw her.
“I was worried about you,” she said her words tripping over her tongue.
“I’m sorry,” Richard said. “I think it’s actually my fault. I missed a dose of my medication. The doctor said I could pass out when that happens. But I’m fine now.”
“How could you miss a dose of your medication?” she said horrified. “That must not happen again.”
“Yes ma’am,” he said grinning.
“So, I’ve been wondering; how come you were the one who found me? What brought you to my room that evening?” he asked, searching her face.
She fingered the bed sheets and sat down beside him, saying nothing.
“I’m really worried Ize,” Peter said as he leaned towards her. “What’s the matter?”
“I’m sick, really sick,” she murmured.
He lifted up her face to his, gently. “What is it?”
She swallowed. “I’m a drug addict,” she said.
He sat back in his chair, stunned.
“The other day when you called me, I was in a halfway house. I’m trying to kick the habit, I really am. And I had been doing well for some time. But sometimes, I still slip.”
Peter did not know what to say other than: “I’m sorry Ize.”
“I’ll understand if you don’t want to er you know be my friend anymore,” Ize said looking embarrassed.
Peter just gave her hand a pat. “Nonsense, Ize. I’m here if you need me.”
“Thanks,” she said with a half-smile.
A friend once asked me which scenario was worse: having a relationship with a miser or with one who had pathological jealousy. I couldn’t decide definitively but I felt both were awful. Then it hit me that no one comes bearing a tag on their head saying; ‘I’ll never give you a penny’ I’m not talking necessarily about the men, both sexes are liable to both evils. His comment got me thinking though. How would I know that a potential partner has those danger signals marked on his forehead? So I decided to do a little research starting with the tight fisted ogre first and this is what I came up with:
1. He/she will never offer to take you out: They might say all the sweet nothings but when it comes to spending money on you, suddenly they have nothing to say or offer. Or they have something to give…an excuse. If he does manage to take you out, it becomes a red flag when he insists that you take out your wallet and pay for the date. If it’s your first date and he asks you to do this, don’t wait any longer. Run! It might be hard because they are usually very good flatterers but you need to do it.
2. He/she likes talking about money they’ve saved: It’s as if they want you to be proud of them for having been able to save so much money. They might not even tell you the exact amount for fear you’ll ask them for it, but it’s a ready excuse they give when issues with money comes up. “I’m trying to save, honey.”
3. They don’t buy you gifts: We are not talking about the lavish, expensive gifts on the go. We are talking about periods that might require some sort of gift-giving like birthdays and Christmas. Don’t listen to their lies about always not being able to find something suitable enough for you or that their love for you is so much more than any gift. Fiddlesticks! They’re just being cheapskates.
4. They find an excuse not to tip and always asks for discount: Your man or woman can never for once make the statement: “Keep the change,” not even when they are in the Beverly Hills hotel. But they can always ask for a discount on everything
5. They don’t mind borrowing money from you: when a guy asks a lady to borrow him money very early on in a romantic relationship, it’s a red flag.
It’s also a red flag if a lady asks a guy for money when she just starts dating him. What sets a tone for how a relationship is going to turn out is those early interactions. So be warned. You may have to keep on doling out and doling out to maintain the relationship.
Being cheap is not about not having a lot of money. It’s centered on selfishness. The center of a cheapskate’s world is always himself. A cheap guy will never make another person a priority, and this isn’t limited to financial matters. A cheap guy may spend a fortune on his car and stereo system but begrudge you a chicken salad if he has to pay for it. No one is saying he shouldn’t spend his money on the things he wants. The problem is his not wanting to spend any of his money on you. This is really because you are not his real priority. (This applies to ladies too).
I personally don’t see how anyone can afford to stay in a relationship with someone who doesn’t see you as important.
In the long run, no matter how smitten you are, it’s better to give yourself some tough love and run because contemplating forever with a tight fisted ogre can only lead to one thing…a nightmare.
P.S: It is likely that these are not all the features of tight fisted ogres. Please share your experiences and opinions in the comment box.