By Benjamin Njoku
Husband insists â€˜Iâ€™m not broke
Media hounds and traffickers of rumours and unsubstantiated innuendoes that have trailed the life of sexy and newly wedded Nollywood top actress, Ini Edo appear not to have given the actress a breather.
The ink in her marriage certificate had hardly dried when stories and rumours of marital woes started swirling all over the place.
Just as we were about resting this pageÂ on Thursday night, a close family friend of the couple, Ekerete Udoh who publishes the famous Diaspora Star, based in America arrived the country armed with this exclusive report.
He recounted that, in the intervening weeks of Iniâ€™s marriage, The Diaspora Star,r eceived close to a 100 â€˜anonymousâ€™ calls and mails from all over the world, alerting us to the problems the couple were experiencing soon after their marriage.
Of course, according to Udoh, â€œwe had ignored most of those â€˜leadsâ€™ since we had concluded that they essentially emanated from sources that had an ax to grind with the couple, and were thus looking for a platform to get even.â€
The leads, he noted, continued to pour in with regularity and frequency that was beginning to be alarming. One of those leads had even accused us of not following up on the story because Ini Edo and I come from the same part of the world in Nigeria and I was thus â€˜protectingâ€™ her from bad press- a wildly misleading notion.
Among some of the reasons that those sources offered as being responsible for the alleged marital fissures were those that bordered on financial woes on the part of the husband, Philips Ehigiwina and Iniâ€™s decision to make Nigeria her base as opposed to Houston, Texas, where the husband resides.
Others said, Ini was pregnant and had lost the baby, a situation that had caused some friction between the couple.
â€œWhen some colleagues from African contacted me, about the same lines of allegations, I felt the time had come for me to finally confront the principal actors and get their side of the story.
Our cardinal responsibility here is to always get stories from the main principals, as opposed to trafficking in rumours. This has been responsible for the credibility we have earned from our readers and colleagues all over the world, who regularly consult us to authenticate their stories.â€
â€œAnd so, penultimate Thursday, I placed a call to Ini Edo, who had just left Houston for Nigeria, en route to South Africa where she was scheduled to appear as one of the Ambassadors or Faces of the Africaâ€™s wireless giant- Globacomâ€™s marketing campaign.
Sounding very angry at the baseless accusations, but taking refuge and strength in God, Ini spoke with pain in her voice.â€
â€œMy marriageâ€, she stated authoritatively, â€œis not in jeopardy in any form, shape or fashion. My marriage is rock-solid, love-defined, emotion â€“laden and deeply infectious. I have never been so happy in my life. My husband is the best man any woman can ever hope to have.
When I signed the dotted line, I pledged to love my husband for better or worse through good health and sickness. I am determined to honour those vows and those nay sayers who have other thoughts in their minds are wasting their time.
They had better deploy their ill-defined energies elsewhere. My marriage will last as long as God gives us life.â€
Asked to comment on some of the allegations that have been bandied about as the cause of the alleged marital fissures such as financial woes, Ini laughed and stated as aÂ matter-of-fact, â€œMy husband is the best provider ever! I have never seen a man who goes out of his way to provide his wife with everything that makes life comfortable.
Even though I have made money from the industry, my husband does not allow me to spend it on things he believes reside in the realms of the husband. For instance, in all my travels to the US, my husband has never allowed me to purchase my own tickets.
He flies me First Class. Where did these haters get their brief? My husband is not broke and for this we give God the glory for his blessings.â€
On the allegation that she has made Nigeria her home instead of Houston, Texas where her husband lives, Ini laughed at the stupidity of the merchants of hate. â€œI spent most of my time in Houston, and only travel to Africa to shoot movies, and I am usually back to Houston the moment the task is finished.
Do they know that I have been in Houston all this while and that I only left a few days ago to attend the Globacom event in South Africa?
Maybe, these people expect to be seeing me at every gathering, but they have to understand that my husband is a very private man, and prefers the comforts of his home as opposed to being seen all over the place.
When I married my husband, he knew that I am an actress, and that I will continue to be one, as long as God gives me the strength to do so.
He allows me the freedom to pursue my career and for this I am grateful for his understanding. Whenever I am in Nigeria, we are on the phone almost every hour. Our love and devotion to one another are deeply infectious. Those who wish us ill will not succeed.
I know the husband I married and he remains the best man any woman can aspire to have, and I count myself lucky to be his wife. My marriage is erected on solid foundation, and that foundation will never crack or show signs of strains.â€
…As husband insists â€˜Iâ€™m not brokeâ€™
Philips Ehigiwina, like his wife Ini Edo, was totally pained and distraught by the allegations of marital split bordering on financial difficulties.
â€œThis has been the most reckless and insensitive allegation that I have yet encountered. Who feeds them these kinds of falsehood?
Truth be told, I am not broke, neither do we have any marital problems at all. We are to the glory of God, a picture of marital health and blessing. My wife is provided for, totally by me. Our wedding, which was a lavish affair, was totally bankrolled by me. My wife is the best-dressed actress today in Nollywood. Iâ€™m not saying this to elicit envy, but it is a fact.
We just got a new house in Lekki- (the most fashionable part of Lagos) and my wife rides the latest brand of Lincoln Navigator, alongside two other choice automobiles. I am a responsible man who takes the role of a husband seriously.
Let me illustrate a point for you and challenge the nay sayers to do the same: The diamond ring I bought for my wife was taken by armed robbers in Lagos, shortly after our wedding. She was very distraught by the loss, butÂ I told her not to worry, that Iâ€™d get her another one, which I did.
The second one that I bought was unfortunately lost when my wife forgot it at the bathroom of an aircraft while she was heading to see me in Houston. She was very upset that she lost the ring. I told her again not to worry, that mistakes happen. I went and got her another one.
My definition of a husband is one that does not shirk his responsibilities, and should do everything within his power to make his spouse happy, and I am committed to doing just that.Â If those merchants of hate are wishing that I become broke, well,
I have news for them: the Lord will continue to bless and enrich me, to their eternal grief.â€
On the allegation that his wife miscarriage caused a lot of friction, Philips was almost drawn to tears as he spoke, â€œThis is a very painful thing for any reasonable person to say. My wife was never pregnant, not to talk of having a miscarriage.
It is absolutely not true. We are waiting on the Lord and when that happens, the entire world will know. I think the reason why people are spreading these rumours is because I no longer fraternise in certain circles that I used to, before I got married.
I believe that once one is married, you should wean yourself from certain circles, which is what I have done. Unfortunately, this has caused my haters to spawn all kinds of rumours.
The truth however, remains that my marriage is rock-solid and on solid grounds. Ini and I are joined by the hip and nothing, and I mean it, nothing will separate us.â€