A nursing mother, Omolara Adeniran, whose photo went viral on the Internet, tells The Punch’s Gbenga Adeniji why she carried a placard on Lagos streets to solicit a profitable job for her husband.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a mother of a seven-month-old baby and a housewife. I am hoping to start a business once I have money to do so.
There is a photograph of you all over the Internet holding a placard and soliciting a job for your husband. What made you do that?
I was led to do it and I followed the spirit of God. Left to me as a person, I wouldn’t have done that. But I was spiritually intoxicated and that gave me the boldness to do it. God said that was the only way we would come out of the hardship we are facing and the slavery work my husband is doing. The word I got was, “There is always a sacrifice for every promotion.’’ I was asked to make the sacrifice so my husband could be promoted and elevated.
Why do you want a new job for him?
For about 12 years, my husband has been working in one of the popular commercial banks in the country as an information technology engineer. They keep promising to promote him without any hope of doing that. He has also been receiving the same salary of N70,000 since he joined the bank till now without a review. He was single when he joined the company but he is now married and his responsibilities have increased. I am really troubled, especially knowing the kind of man he is and the kind of job he does. I had to take the case to God in prayer. Before I went to the streets to carry a placard to solicit a job for him, I received a message from God that I should advertise him for our situation to change. I was confused the first time I heard the message. But after calming down, I heard God’s voice clearly that it was what I had to do.
I didn’t do it of my own volition. It was not easy for me to do it. I had to ask God for boldness. I asked Him to give me David’s boldness to be able to do it. He stood by me and I was not shy. I felt delighted that I could do that and sacrificed for my husband. That was the reason why I went public to ask for a better job for my husband. I fully realised when God spoke to me that there is a better job out there for my husband, for his destiny to change.
How did you feel the day you carried the placard?
I felt good and awesome because it was not my initiative. I felt good being an instruction that was divinely ordained and which I had to make for my husband and my family. It was not as if I did it for my husband only, I also did it for myself. We became one the moment we took the marital vow together.
Many people wrongly abused me on the Internet that I didn’t get a job for myself but wanted to get one for my husband. My husband is the head of the family. The kind of person my husband is, even if he gets a well-paid job, the money is for us. I know the kind of man he is. People gave me attention that day and also appreciated me.
Have there been positive responses?
Yes, people called the number I wrote on the placard to either identify with my case or ask what the situation was and how they could help. Fraudsters also called that I should pay some money to get a good job for my husband. But I told the last of them that called me that such amounted to offering bribes and God wouldn’t want that. Some even erroneously called too to ask if I was searching for a husband. Many even wrongly believed a Facebook post by someone who claimed that he offered my husband a higher salary and I rejected, insisting on a salary in six figure range.
The Facebook user, one kdk, claimed that he offered to give your husband a job but you insisted on a salary of N200,000 monthly. Is this true?
I think the man only wanted to gain cheap popularity out of my plight. I have never met him before. I guess he got my number through my photo which went viral on the Internet. He called me and introduced himself as Oluwaseun. He told me that he has a foundation and I said, “Okay sir. Thank you for calling.” He asked me where my husband was currently working and I told him. He said, “Wow, he has such experience and has not been converted.’’
He again asked me the salary my husband was hoping to earn if he got a new job. I told him the amount he is currently earning monthly and added that a six-digit as salary would really be of help to us at this time. That was all I said. I was surprised when my attention was drawn to a post from the same man that I insisted on N200,000 monthly. Honestly, if I have requested such an amount, my husband merits it because of his experience and competence. But I didn’t say so even though I can confidently say that as an IT engineer with over 11 years experience, my husband is worth more than a salary of N200,000 monthly.
I later learnt that is the pastime of the man on the Internet. That he goes online to demean people and criticise them to draw traffic to his blog for personal gains. I was sincere by saying six-digit salary was going to help my husband appreciate his labour to some extent and the man twisted everything on social media in an attempt to make us look bad and possibly make it difficult for genuine helpers to give my husband a deserving job.
I leave him to God who led me to do what I did. He probably didn’t know that I never of my own volition went to advertise my husband. It was a divine command. God, who asked me to do what I did, will not allow us to be ridiculed by him. I know that our divine helpers are thirsty to help us. The voice that parted the red sea and brought water out of the rock will open doors of unimaginable blessings for us. He surely will be alive to celebrate with us.
Is your husband aware of what you did on his behalf?
Initially, when I got the message, I was confused about how to advertise my husband. I asked God to speak to me the way I would understand. When I got the message clearly, I told my husband and he was shocked. He asked me why would I do such a thing when I was not drunk. He explained to me that having just put to bed and my body was just taking shape, l shouldn’t face the sun in my state and also that people would interpret my action wrongly.
I told him that it was God that told me to do it. He became calm instantly and we ended the discussion that day. But he didn’t give me the go-ahead. I returned to God and told Him to speak to my husband if he wanted me to do what He commanded. Few days later, he was at work and he called me. He said since it was God who asked me to do it, it cannot be a bad thing and that who was he to oppose it? He told me to go ahead and that cleared the way for me.
Did you envisage the publicity that would follow your action?
First, it was not something I would have loved to do like I said earlier. But since it was God’s will, I could not oppose it. I am happy after doing it because God is involved. I can see that He alone knows the reason why He wanted me to do it. Many people said I made a huge sacrifice and some also described me as a strong woman. I didn’t see all these coming. For years I didn’t do this. I only did what God led me to do and I am excited that He is backing me up.
If I was told I would do this some years back, I would have said it cannot be possible. Even if I saw any person doing such, I would have thought the person was probably intoxicated. I was only praying that morning as I stepped out of the house. At a point, I prayed that I should not meet any of my family members on the way so they wouldn’t think I was mad. My sister works on the Island and I feared that she could see me. I knew that if she did, she could drag me into her vehicle and drive me away. I didn’t just go anywhere. I went exactly where God led me to on the Island.
Where precisely did you go to on the Island?
I spent about three hours in the area. I started from Idejo Bus Stop on Adeola Odeku Street. I spent 20 minutes at every junction to show passers-by and motorists the placard and distribute my husband’s curriculum vitae. As I moved, people stopped, dropped their complimentary cards and prayed for me. My picture that went viral on the Internet was taken by one of the motorists when I stood in front of Coscharis Motors on Adeola Odeku. I don’t even know who took the picture. I later moved through Ajose Adeogun Street, made a turning and came out through Adetokunbo Ademola Street, stayed for sometime before I boarded a bus and returned home.
Did you disguise from known faces?
I didn’t do that. I wear glasses but didn’t go out with it that day. Where I was working before I got married, computers affected my eyes so I am always on glasses. I don’t really go out often but that day, as I beheld the sun carrying the placard, the sun seeped into my eyes and they became watery. I bought the sunglasses that day from a seller at Victoria Island because I didn’t want people to think that I was crying.
What do you have to say to Nigerians who may have misinterpreted your action?
I want to urge them to always hear others out and not quickly react to things that they hear or see. If you see someone talking or doing certain things, take time out to know why the person is talking the way he or she is doing or behaving a certain way. There are some people that you cannot rubbish because if you do so, their God will fight for them.
What kind of person is your husband?
He is a highly spiritual man and down-to-earth. He is a very calm person and like a dove. He is too caring and can sacrifice anything for his family including others.
How did your family react to your action?
My siblings initially didn’t know that I was the one in the picture that went viral. I was the one that called all of them and told them what I did. I put the phone on speaker for the only one who was not around to hear what I was telling the rest. Immediately I told them, they started weeping. I explained to them that God asked me to do it. They later praised me for taking a bold step to do what God asked me to do.
What do you have to say to Nigerians who may want to identify with you for doing what you termed God’s instruction?
I will just say that anybody who hears our cry and help us is sowing into the covenant of God. I am sure that they will reap bountifully because it is God’s order and not mine. It will be well with their homes, their strength will be renewed and joy everlasting shall be their portion.