By NBF News

The story you're about to read is not fiction. It is a true life story but so sad and pathetic. Lydia (not real name) is a friend of mine, the last in a wonderful and happy family of six. Her father was a successful businessman who together with his family lived at Kaduna in Northern Nigeria. Life was at its best and no one knew where the evil ones laid ambush.

Lydia was a student in one of Nigeria's universities. She was happy and never had any premonition of any danger coming her way. Unfortuntately, her father, while trying to cross the road never like before, was knocked down by a motorcycle, plunging their family into sorrow.

After a week, his injury became worse and he eventually died.

His death opened the family's doors to Lydia's uncles and different relatives from the village. Without sparing the family time to mourn their departed one, they swooped in like bees. They came to Kaduna, where the family lived , seized all her father's property, documents and gave Lydia's mother and her siblings aquit notice. That was just the beginning.

Two months after, Lydia's mother was struck with a deadly ailment which ultimately led to her death. Lydia had to drop out of school, because there was no one to sponsor her though in her third year.

She didn't graduate.Many happy homes have been plunged into disarray after the demise of the bread-winner. In some states in Nigeria, widows are not allowed any say in the disposition of the estates of their husbands by his family the children not withstanding.They are dispossesed of everything including their contribution to their husbands estates. The situation could be worse, but things are becoming better due to enlightenment and the re-evaluation of the value system.We are not there yet.

Would you allow your inheritance to be usurped by your father's family? A number of respondents bared their minds on this vexed issue which has generated bad blood in families nationwide. Excerpts:

I will try to meet the family head.
Secondly I will pray and hand-over everything to God . I will not because of inheritance disrespect any member of my family. If the issue results into a life threatening controversy I will leave everything to them and move on with my life.

It is better I do not depend on any inheritance than contend with family members and die prematurely.

It depends on whether or not there's a will. If there is, I will claim my right under the law of the land. But if there is non , I think the best thing is to leave everything to God.

If the situation degenerates into fetishism and violence, I will rather let sleeping dog lie, because I do not want any evil to befall my family, especially as I have little kids to take care for.

The truth is whoever values his/ her life would not want to drag any issue with such evil hearted creatures in the extended family. They are heartless, selfish and greedy. Since I am still alive, there is still hope for me to make my own wealth and acquire property. Remember, the patient dog eats the fattest bone, I still value my life.

Why fight a battle that I'm not certain to win? After all, the original owner of these assets is no more, let them take it over and never die again. As much as possible I want to avoid family problems. It is always a dangerous situation.

Winners never quit. However in certain situations we must apply caution especially when the situation is potentially dangerous.It is quite unfortunate that meddling relations make the disposition of the Will difficult especially in developing countries.

It's easier said than done to leave your inheritance to meddling relations of your parents. However, have it in mind that you have just two alternatives:It's either you leave the estate and stay alive or contend with them and lose your life.

I will try my very best to get what belongs to me but when it is getting tough and deadly to do so , I will withdraw. I will let-go, because my life is much more precious to me than inheritance.

That is why it is not good to depend on inheritance. Rather you should work hard to acquire yours because everything we consider beautiful today is all vanity.

I think I need to leave everything to God, because If I take it up with them they could go to any extent to deal with me. At the end, one may lose everything including one's precious life.

I am entitled to my father's estate as long as he willed it to me .

But, if some of his relatives decide to usurp his estate , I would seek a court injunction and pray. If they employ violence or diabolic means, I will hands-off because I cannot involve myself in fetishism knowing fully well my standing with God.

Struggling over inheritance may be suicidal.
I will try not to think about it and always believe that someday I will make it in life and own property.

It is better you do not take it too personal , especially if you're from a polygamous home.

I would suggest that out of a hundred percent, you should only take ten percent of your father's wealth and leave the rest to others.Be prepared to share with others in the family especially if the custodian wants it that way.