Former husband of Senator Iyabo Obasanjo, Oluwafolajimi Akeem Bello, yesterday married his longtime girlfriend, Olajumoke Katherine Thompson.
Bello tied the nuptial knot with the woman he described as â€œthe only woman I ever loved,â€ amidst tight security at the marriage registry of the Orile Agege Local Council Development Area, Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.
Husband and wife were joined together at exactly 11.58 a.m. by Mrs. Oluwakemi Hamed, a registrar at the Orile Agege LCDA, in the presence of family members and friends, including veteran highlife musician, Dr. Victor Abimbola Olaiya (OON).
The new union came almost eight years after Bello divorced Iyabo Obasanjo and mother of his only son. Bello got married to Iyabo in September 1999, few months after her father was sworn in as Nigeriaâ€™s president.
Four years later, the marriage crashed.
Speaking with P.M.NEWS after they were joined together, the couple expressed joy that they are now husband and wife.
â€œSimply put, today is one of the best days of my life. I feel excited and give glory to Almighty God that Iâ€™m alive today to be able to take this lovely, humble and compassionate woman to be my better half,â€ said the new husband. â€œJumoke happens to be my first and only love. And for 25 years, she has been very patient and considerate of my own shortcomings in life. I feel great to have her,â€ Bello added.
Prodded to explain why he waited almost eight years after he divorced Iyabo, before remarrying, Bello said: â€œThere is a saying that what is worth enjoying is worth waiting for. Like I said, Olajumoke has been very patient and caring and there is no best time as this time to appreciate her unquestionable devotion and commitment to my life.â€
The new wife, who is a businesswoman based in the United States said: â€œI couldnâ€™t have wished for another man. This wedding is a dream come true. Today (yesterday) is a joyous day for me as I have looked forward to this day. Iâ€™m so blessed to be married to Folajimi. I believe God has ordained this marriage and all thanks and glory will forever go to Him.â€
Iyabo Obasanjo had on 19 May, 2003, filed for divorce at the State of Carolina General Court of Justice, District Court Division, United States of America before Alonzo B. Coleman Jnr.
In the course of the hearing of the case with file number 03 CVD 384, her former husband, Bello, prayed the court to award him custody of their only child, Jimi Bello, who was born on 1 January, 2000 in Chatham County, North Carolina. The court subsequently granted him custody.
However, on 27 July, 2004, Iyabo allegedly took the boy from her former husbandâ€™s home in Pittsbhoro and fled to Nigeria with him. After a series of failed efforts to get her to return the child to his father, District Court Judge Charles T.L. Anderson ruled on 9 May, 2005 that she was in contempt of the court.
The court asked local, state and international law enforcement officers to take Iyabo into custody.
SinceÂ the court order, she has not visited the U.S. She was ordered by court authorities to pay $875 per month in child support to her former husband, Bello, effective 24 October, 2004. However, court records show that former President Olusegun Obasanjoâ€™s first daughter has not paid any dime in this mandated child support contribution.
â€” Funsho Arogundade