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In the middle of last year, our media was a washed by series of articles condemning the attempts to legalize child-marriage in Nigeria by some persons in the upper chamber of our National Assembly. Honestly, I deliberately refused to add my voice to it because my pen colleagues in the media have done great justice to that. The public outcry that greeted the Satanic and clandestine attempts to promote under aged marriage in the country was yet another great victory for our media, civil society organizations and persons of goodwill and sound judgments! But, the area I would also like us to beam our searchlight on this year is on the growing rate of divorce in the country.Divorce, according to Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, is the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body. In the other hands, divorce is what happens when a man and a woman decides not to be married to

each other again. The question that should therefore agitate our mind is what causes divorce?Though, there are many factors that causes divorce, but, based on the ones my journalistic eyes has seen, observed and equally confirmed by the little research I have done for this topic, infidelity, sexual incompatibility, domestic abuse, lack of commitment to marital vows, lack of effective communication skills, immaturity, unrealistic expectation among others are the causes of divorce in Nigeria. For example, most ladies in an attempt to escape our unfriendly economic realities rush in to marriage with the unexperimented believe that the world of marriage is secluded from the real world. So, they jump in to it, thinking that, there is a short route to London without knowing that, if you leave Nigeria for London because of Nigeria's problems, you will still be confronted with London problems; so is the world of marriage.In the same vein, most people

especially ladies go in to marriage because of family and societal pressure. Before now, the African society had nearly succeeded in promoting and sustaining the belief that a woman without a husband is inferior! This notion is very bad, because it has lured most people in to preventable temptations. As at today, there are some societies in Nigeria when a young lady clocks certain age, her father, mother and brothers will be bullying her with all forms of invectives and vituperations. Some will even ask her to leave the house if, she cannot get a man that will hook up with her. They don't care about the side effects of their action; all they want is “bring a man to the house and call him husband, then move your luggage from here and go with him”. But, ask the father a simple question like, “Sir, do you treat your male son the way you treat the female one?” Then, you will hear answers like, “Oh yes, as far as my house is concerned, the male

son is the owner of the house and all my inheritance both in the family and in the kindred”. The African culture is one that vests too much power and places priority on the male child. That is why a woman who could not give birth to a male child in some Nigerian communities is usually denied of her dues and entitlements in her matrimonial home!Furthermore, lack of communication skill is another factor that causes divorce as I have observed. I don't want to talk of infidelity, sexual incompatibility, domestic violence among others, these are all what effective communication can solve or even prevent. As it is often said, what you can't communicate, you can't solve. So honest communication is very important in any relationship. Nonetheless, I recently read a report that says, by the year 2025, there would be no quality young men for quality young ladies. In some regions in Nigeria, the result of the study was based on the current trend of high

male drop out from the tertiary institutions. Also, in some regions in Nigeria; the number of non-functionally literate young men marrying highly educated young ladies is on the rise! This is why the number of females that go to school in that section of the country is greater than their male counterparts. So, in a simple family debate, the woman with high education will make points that will beat the man's own, but, in trying to exercise the masculine superiority the society vested on him, the man will resort to the display of emotions over reasons. In such case, instead of the man looking inward with questions like, “What must I do to make the union better?” He will start looking up to outsiders to define his family problem; creating room for people who sometimes have the history of broken marriages to give him wrong advice. Most of the times, their advice still emphases on the same masculine superiority. Hence, instead of solving the

communication problem, there would be a total breakdown of communication; and when this happens, suspicion creeps in to the family with its dangerous effects! There are many reasons for divorce which I strongly encourage other analysts and commentators to write on, giving it a Nigerian perspective, so that people especially the intending couples would learn before hand and fully be equipped to face the challenges that would herald vows like “I… take you … to be my (wife or husband). I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad times, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life”. They should be made to understand that, this promise is enduring and it subsists any transient challenge that could lead to divorce thereafter!Comrade Edwin Ekene Uhara is an Activist, a Pen Marshal and Public Affairs Commentator.He is also the National President of Young Nigerian for Change.Send your feedback to 07065862479,

[email protected] 9, Imgbi Road, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

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Articles by Edwin Uhara