Oxford blues [or blue print for the black continent

Headline: I kneel, stretch out my hand for my husband to flog daily’’

‘’Lagos—A 39-year-old housewife, Yemisi Akinwunmi, who is a petty trader, pleaded with a customary court sitting in Agege, Lagos, to end her 20-year-old marriage and free her from the pangs of daily corporal punishment meted out to her by the husband.

She said: “My husband constantly beats me and whenever he wants to do so, he tells me to kneel down and stretch my hands like a pupil before caning me. He often threatens to kill me.’’

While testifying before the court’s President, Mr. Phillips Williams, she said there was no love between them anymore.

Yemisi described her husband of 20 years as an irresponsible man, who has refused to take proper care of her and the children.

She said she had been solely responsible for the feeding and upkeep of the children since her husband lost his job.

According to her, “I made efforts to secure a loan for my husband from a cooperative bank to start a small business with a promise by him to pay back in instalments. But after a few months, he refused to pay and attempts to get him to refund the money were unsuccessful. My husband started threatening to kill me and dispose of my corpse without anybody knowing. I am fed up with the marriage; there is no love between us again. I can no longer bear the pains and humiliations.”

She further urged the court to dissolve the marriage and to compel the respondent to be responsible for the welfare and education of the children.

The respondent, Wasiu, 49, however, denied the allegations and pleaded with the court not to dissolve the marriage.

According to him, his wife started misbehaving and became promiscuous the moment he lost his job.

Wasiu, who claimed to have caught her in the act of adultery, said: “My wife later told me that she was fed up with the union and she moved out of the house with the children sometime in 2015. However, after much pleading, she returned home later in 2016 only to start engaging in adultery. I have caught her on several occasions. She stopped cooking for me since July 2016 and finally moved out of the house.’’

The respondent said he made efforts and begged his wife to return, especially for the sake of the children, but she remained adamant.

President of the court invited the estranged couple to his chambers for a possible resolution of the crisis and later adjourned the case to April 11.’’

Even more savage is the front page report of ‘’ Daily Trust ‘’ newspaper of May 15, 2017.

Headline: ‘’ I was sent on suicide mission for refusing marriage proposal-14 year old’’

‘’A 14-year-old female said Boko Haram leaders chose her to detonate an Improvised Explosive Device in Maiduguri because she refused to get married to their members in Sambisa Forest.

The suspect was among three suspects arrested by the military, when they allegedly came for a suicide mission at a military facility at Jakana in Maiduguri.

The suspect told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri yesterday that she was sent on the mission to detonate the device because she refused marriage proposals from three Boko Haram terrorists.

The suspect said she was abducted with her father, Usman, by Boko Haram insurgents in Gwoza, Borno State in 2013.

She said she and her father were running to Mandara Mountain for safety when they were abducted.

The suspect said she and her father wanted to travel to Madagali in Adamawa State, where he normally sold cows before Boko Haram insurgents attacked Gwoza.

“I have spent three years in the hands of Boko Haram. Three different Boko Haram (terrorists) proposed to marry me and I refused. Two among them were commanders.

When I refused for the third time, one of the commanders became furious and threatened to kill me and my father. I told him I would rather die than marry a Boko Haram.

So, after one week, they said since I have refused to get married, I should be taken to Maiduguri for a suicide mission. So, three of them   held my hands and they injected me.

Then, I never knew what was happening again.

I was taken to a herbalist, who, after I regained consciousness, told me that I had been with him for 30 days.

He told me he was preparing me for a mission. So he gave me some water to drink. I don’t know what it tasted like but I drank it. So, he said they would come and pick me today.

At about 7p.m. three Boko Haram members came with a male and a female. They were also recruited for the mission like me.

We spent one and a half days on the road to Maiduguri. It was when we got to Maiduguri that they strapped the bombs on our bodies. At that moment I knew that I was going to die, so I started crying.

I was watching when the first bomber, a female, detonated her explosive close to a military checkpoint which killed no one but herself. The second, a male, was killed by the military before he could detonate his.

At that time something told me to remove my own IED and surrender which I did. I was surrounded by soldiers and policemen and I fainted.

When I woke, I discovered that one of the policemen at the checkpoint was a brother of my mother’s. I think that was the reason I survived,’’ the suspect said.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, said the suspects were being de-radicalised at the military detention facility.’’

‘’ Africa Week’’ is determined to highlight the sharp contrast between the long suffering women in Africa and the case featured on the front page of the ‘’ Daily Sun’’ newspaper on May 12, 2017.

 

 J.K.Randle OFR; FCA

 

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