By Bridget Amaraegbu
The advent of Christianity changed some unsavory practices that prevailed in Nigeria especially in the Eastern part of the country where widows were almost treated as lepers when they lose their husbands.
The tradition allowed in-laws take over the properties of a bereaved woman even when such departed man left behind several children. And in some cases, widows were ejected from their homes or subjected to horrifying experiences to prove that they had no hand in the death of their husbands.
Although this practices still exist inÂ some places, education and general right awareness has helped save some widows from the devilish act of their in-laws.
This week some celebrities shares their views on the practice and opined what may happen should they be confronted with such situation.
Only prayers can do the magic â€” Biodun Okeowo, Actress
Any woman whoâ€™s husband in-laws are after her husbands properties just have to pray and commit everything thing to God. Iâ€™m saying this because if she decides to fight them by way of going to court or any other means humanly possible, they may have to kill her. And once they kill her thereâ€™s nothing else she can do because the dead can not fight the living unless there are some spiritual manipulations where That is when we Africans say the spirit of the dead is fighting which may not be true so the best thing is to let them be.
I wonâ€™t even go to court if I were in her shoes. All I can do is commit everything to God and things will naturally get fixed at the right time. If I fight them and they succeed in killing me in the process, who will take care of my children. I wouldnâ€™t want to expose my children to so much risk and danger by fighting my in-laws and getting killed at the end. A lot of African children have had to suffer for issues like this and when their father and mother are no more, theyâ€™re left to themselves. Even these in-laws who claim to be their uncles and aunts will not assist them.
Do you know that some of these children you find sleeping under the bridge today used to be children of some well to do people amongst us, you need to hear their stories to believe what Iâ€™m saying. If their mother had left everything to fate after the demise of their father, she would have been alive to see them through in her own little way so my advise still remains that you should leave everything to God.
This subject brings us back to the issue of laziness amongst some of our women, why would any woman fold her hands and expect to eat from her husbands earnings alone. Every woman is expected to have something doing no matter how little. Take up a job if youâ€™re learned, learn a trade or better still learn any kind of skill that interest you.
Do you know that today hair dressers and tailors are making huge amount of money in their profession? What about those women in business, they can afford anything they want with or without the support of any man. All Iâ€™m saying is thatÂ our women should begin to live up to their responsibility as a help mate and not chop mate to their husbands. Most career women wonâ€™t go about fighting their in-laws because they wonâ€™â€˜t have much problem shouldering responsibilities alone.
May be I should also seize this opportunity to talk about other widowhood and traditional practices like forcing the woman to accept her husbands brother as a sex mate whether she likes it or not in the name of tradition. I must confess that women in some parts of this country have suffered so much in the course of mourning their late husbands. In some tradition, the woman is made to sleep with the corpse for certain number of days while others are forced to sleep in the grave yard for two days after his burial to finally convince her in-laws that she did not kill her husband.
I think itâ€™s time for women to come together and provide solutions to some of these issues because if we do not stand up to chat our own course, the men folk will not do it for us and weâ€™ll continue to suffer in anguish.
Iâ€™ll got to court if thereâ€™s a will â€” Bhaira Mcwizu, Actress
No man in his right senses will own any property in our world of today without getting his lawyer involved by way of writing a will and thatâ€™s the truth.
If my husband had a will before his demise then the next step will definitely be to go to court and take back what rightly belongs to us because I have to bring up the children we had together so I need these properties to help me bring up these children. At least theyâ€™ll need shelter which is a basic necessity and so many other basic needs to survive. I believe that with prayers and God on our side success will surely be ours.
They wonâ€™t try such with me â€” Mercy Johnson, Actress
No, no husband in-law will do that to me abi dem no dey fear face? Nobody can try that with me and that is the truth but any widow who is faced with such trauma should go to court if her husband did not state clearly in his will who owns what.
In this present age of ours any man that has no written will to safeguard his family when heâ€™s no more have already exposed them to all kinds of danger so they should fight as much as they can to recover whatever they can.
No way, itâ€™s our property â€” Ngozi George, student
No way, Iâ€™ll not allow my in-laws do any such thing to me. Why should I give them such opportunity to take away everything I and my husband has worked for.
If I let them take away our property, who will cater for our children? Will they also pay all the necessary bills for me and my children? It wonâ€™t be enough to just tear his properties apart so if you want me to allow them take over his properties then they have to sign an agreement to pay all our bills.
Abolish such tradition â€” Jane Udofia, Teacher
I donâ€™t know why people are interested in taking things that do not belong to them, why would a lazy man who has never bought a one inch block with his money wake up one morning to own another manâ€™s estate in the name of tradition? Such tradition for me should be abolished because it will not only expose the immediate family of the deceased to all kinds of danger but it will also encourage laziness and lead people into killing their brothers.
What else do you expect of one useless fellow who has been smoking and drinking away his whole life. All he needs to do is kill one of his wealthy brothers and heâ€™s made. I wonâ€™t let my in-laws come close to my husbandâ€™s property for any reason.