By Rose Moses
A professor and notable diplomat, whose names I am not going to mention here, once told me an interesting story. So funny was the story that I got my ribs cracking with laughter.
I can’t now remember exactly how we got talking on the issue, but Prof’s graphic narration of a certain incident throws me into a fit of laughter anytime I remember that story, which he said was a true life story.
Was the issue involved really a laughing matter? Not quite, but hey, what do people laugh about these days? Evil, wicked, unthinkable and abominable acts that are not in short supply in our world of today. Malevolence is now a source of amusement for many Nigerians.
Prof was just trying to disabuse my mind to the notion that only men are capable of battering their spouses.
“There are also expert husband beaters in our midst,” he told me.
And here is the story. Most nights in this particular city suburb, there used to be wailing and gnashing of teeth from a particular room in a particular compound therein.
The wife would wail and wail for long about the same time of the night—somewhere around 9pm.
As this dehumanizing act went on, neighbours got worried that the man could kill his wife. But none wanted to interfere in a matter between husband and wife, a convenient alibi this part of the world.
However, one of the neighbours, on thisparticular day when the couple were at it again, could not endure anymore what he felt could lead to death. He summoned the courage to confront the ‘monster.’ He wanted to talk some sense into the ‘violent’ man’s head.
Expectedly, the door to the couple’s room was locked. When the ‘Good Neighbour’s’ persistent knocks were not responded to, he forcefully opened the door.
And there he was confronted with an unbelievable sight he probably will never forget. The well endowed lady, size wise, was sitting pretty and dangerously on top of her husband, who was on the floor, beating and slapping the hell or devil out of him, to the extent she nearly choked him to death.
Yet, she was the one doing all the crying, which got louder and intense with every blow she visited on the man.
At this point, I couldn’t listen to Prof anymore and so, missed out on how the poor man was ‘rescued’ or ‘delivered’ or not, from his abusive wife, who neatly left all believing all the while she was the one on the receiving end.
Unbelievable, right? Talk of what a man can do, a woman….But truth is, such scenario is rare, very rare indeed!
And so as I write, I am still laughing, sadly though, because this should not be a laughing matter, at all, more so when you are not watching Gerald Norman “Jerry” Springer’s show.
It is also very hard to believe the
trending story on the cyber space, alleging that wife of an ex-president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mrs. Ranti Dawodu, after more than 28 years of vicious domestic violence (DV), enduring torture no one should live with at the hands of a man, died July 6, 2017 in Kaduna.
Writing on his Twitter page, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, renowned human rights lawyer, activist and academic, who until November 2015, was chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), revealed this much about the late Mrs. Dawodu, whom he described as the ‘ablest advocate for human rights of persons with disabilities in Nigeria.’
Though the Dawodu children, in a formal letter, have denied that their late mother was a victim of DV, claiming instead to have all grown up in a loving environment where they witnessed, firsthand, affection of both parents, fact remains that DV is real and is claiming lives, daily.
Women and children are mostly victims of domestic abuse and violence, which unfortunately, is progressively on the rise.
Lagos State Government, alone, claims to have recorded, at least, 1,480 cases of DV between 2015 and 2017. Certainly, not all cases are recorded.
The most publicized
case of a husband stabbing his wife to death in Lagos was witnessed in 2011. One Titilayo, a banker, reportedly came home early from work, June 24, 2011 to prepare for her husband a big birthday dinner. By midnight, she was dead, brutally murdered by same husband, Arowolo. Autopsy report showed she was stabbed 76 times!
Although Arowolo did not escape justice as he was sentenced to death in 2014, that has not served as a deterrent for many as cases of DV are committed with reckless abandon, daily.
Amnesty International (AI) would identify our patriarchal system as major factor for violation of women’s right. Hence, DV in many states of Nigeria is not illegal. Victims are hardly entitled to legal support. For fear of being labeled and stigmatized, many women have chosen to stay in violent marriages, some losing their lives in the process and leaving behind their children to suffer.
In most cases, it takes the man just few months after the death of the wife to bring in another woman because life must go on.
Now, if this isn’t reason enough for any woman, or even a man, who notices such tendencies in their relationship to quickly look for the door, I wonder what is.
The title, MRS, makes no sense in the grave, neither will you from there, take care of the children you may have claimed to have held you back in a toxic relationship.
A woman has no reason remaining in a violent, abusive relationship because none of those advising you to endure will follow you to the grave if he eventually kills you.