‘Love has no age limit’
Senetor Cyrus Nunieh, the 85-year-old lawyer and former lawmaker caused quite a stir in the state, on the social media and indeed across the world during the week in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, when he took Rosemary Ijeoma, his heartthrob, to the altar.
The Presidential Hotel venue of the wedding reception was agog with personalities, including colleagues of the groom, friends, admirers, respected individuals and residents, who came to witness the unique marriage.Pictures of the wedding went viral on social media, with people expressing mixed feelings over the decision of the aged man to tie the nuptials with his young wife at this point in time.
But in an in an interview with The Guardian in Port Harcourt, the renowned lawyer, who was the first legal practitioner and first senator in Ogoniland, as well as one of the three most senior lawyers that won the case between Alhaji Shehu Shangri and the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in Supreme Court in 1979, hit the nail on the head when he said: “Love has no age limit.”
He disclosed that after the death of his first wife in 1991, he was busy with work and was not quick to remarry, as his children were taking good care of him.He his children are now married and facing their own families and challenges and his secretary only assists during the week days, but on weekends, he was left alone; hence the need to take the bold step once again and seek a companion.
“My first wife died in 1991, since then, my children have been taking care of me, but they are now married and facing their families. My secretary helps out, but on weekends, I am left alone.“My colleagues usually have pity on me and feel sorry for me. So, since I am still alive at this age, I still have appetite, still feel strong and vibrant inside me and when my wife and I met, we both loved ourselves.
“She understands me better and knows when I am not okay. She sees me as her best friend and I also see her as my friend, so we decided to marry.“I think it is the lord’s doing. I feel so happy, relaxed and peaceful now and we hope that this love we share is extended to our country, Nigeria.
“Nigeria needs peace and love to develop and I am an advocate of peace, love, unity and development,” he stated.The senator expressed gratitude to his colleagues and the entire world for celebrating with them on their marriage.
Mrs. Ijeoma Nunieh is a devoted Christian and member of Salvation Ministry International Church, with headquarters in Port Harcourt. Still in joyous mood over her marriage to the former lawmaker, irrespective of age difference, she also stressed that love has no age limit.
The ex-lawmaker told The Guardian that he is already a grandfather with many grand children; hence he and his wife might not be too anxious to bear children. He called on the Federal Government to allow the Ogonis have a state and also speedy the implementation of the cleanup exercise.
When The Guardian sought her reaction to insinuations that she may have married the ex-lawmaker for his wealth or out of pity, rather than love, her husband pleaded for some privacy for the marriage, saying there is a limit to the amount of information to divulge to the public.
He added that his wife is a humble person and not a public personality and requested that her interest be protected.He said: “I am not rich now, I am not at all, she did not marry me because of wealth. I did not tell her I was rich. We did not marry out of pity; we married because we love ourselves.
“Marriage does not mean self-exposure. The way people are talking about our marriage, the whole thing is becoming embarrassing. Some even said I am 100 years.”He pleaded with the public to allow them time to relax and enjoy their new life, stating that he is grateful to God for giving him someone to care for him.
Asked how they met and how he proposed to her, he said: “The whole process was divine. We just met shortly and I noticed she loves me and I love her.“The day she took me to her parents, incidentally, the father knows me very well, he was a worker in our church then on Ogoni.
“So, immediately he saw me, he was now the one introducing me to her daughter and others and she became dumb-founded.”Nunieh noted that there was no resistance from his wife’s family over his proposal to their daughter. He disclosed that the difference in their ages does not impede their expression of love and feelings for each other, adding: “I relate to her as my wife and lover.”
On what he thinks could have spurred her to love him and take him for a husband, Nunieh was swift in responding: “We have common interest; we don’t tell lies, we believe in Christian principles. Honesty and truth is our watchword.
“So, I have seen those qualities in her and she has come to make me happy and not to dupe me and run away, as many have insinuated.”On whether he foresees challenges in the relationship, the octogenarian and peace lover said: “We are human beings; we are not rubber-stamps. We are still natural and humans, so sometimes you differ in issues. When challenges come, we will surely overcome it, by the Grace of God.”
The marriage continues to attract comments from residents of the state, with some, especially from Ogoniland, describing Nunieh as a very good man, who loves peace, unity and development.
Blessing Wikina, a former Chief Press Secretary to former governor of the state, now Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, said: “We are happy for him; he is a very good man. He brought a good image in Ogoniland and is not involved in acrimony or divisive politics.
“He is always an advocate of communal peace, so if marrying at this age will make him happy, relaxed and rest well, we wish him good luck.”Another resident, Mrs. Lucia Dibiara, however expressed reservation owing to the age difference of the couple, but quickly added that if both of them are happy, she was in no position to question their action.
Meanwhile, the photos of the couple have continued to generate different comments on the social media, with some people skeptical of the marriage, while others extolled the union.
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