Wife Beating: Not The ‘Business’ Nigerians Should Not Be Mindful Of
For the sake of clarity, it is expedient in this context to throw an insight to the psychology of a typical wife beater by drawing reference from two scenarios:
Scenario 1: Michael’s brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law have been regular visitors to his house, particularly during holidays, since he married their sister more than a decade ago. Each occasion of their visits has always created the impression that Michael is a good man as he usually shower them with love and care. They were always nostalgic of each visit as they usually share the story of an enjoyable evening with their sister and her husband, highlighted by pleasant conversations. Against the foregoing backdrop, it is expedient to ask, “Who would not beam with pride at the man his or her sister married? “He is so kind to her”, they would always tell anyone that cares to listen about Michael’s marriage to their sister.
Scenario 2: In the absence of his in-laws, Mike (as he was fondly called by the in-laws, friends and neighbors) had for the umpteenth time boiled with rage. In any of such moment of rage or rather madness, he will take out his anger in typical fashion, which for him means hitting his wife in the face, kicking her, pulling her hair, or repeatedly knocking her head against the wall. The graphic picture of Mike’s moments of rage was painted by the wife when she finally decided to make her experiences a public issue.
It might surprise you to learn that both scenarios are about the same couple. Like many perpetrators of domestic violence, Michael knows how to put on a “good-guy” pretense when he is in the public eye or with his wife’s sisters, brothers, parents and friends. But when he is alone with his wife, Michael is terribly cruel.
Many men like Michael, no doubt, grew up in violent families, and as adults they think that their behavior is acceptable; even normal. But there is nothing normal about domestic violence. That is why most people are horrorstruck when they learn that a man has battered his wife.
Against the foregoing backdrop, not few social media users, particularly on Facebook, were unable to literarily “Off-The-Mike” when last Sunday, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Angbo revealed her battered and bruised face in a video post. The clip, which also trended on other social media platforms such as Twitter and WhatsApp alleged assault by her husband, Pius Angbo, a staff of Channels Television.
However, on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, Dr. Mrs. Angbo posted a message on her Facebook profile thus: “Mind your business and leave my family alone. I have reconciled with my husband. Going forward, I want to make my marriage work. All we need now is your prayer”.
In his reaction, a Facebook friend of this writer who shared Mrs. Angbo’s Post on his profile commented thus: “Those who are against her for reconciling with her husband should go and hug transformer. Awon marriage counselors and advocates of broken marriages”.
According to those with discerning mind, Mrs. Angbo’s Post was no doubt prompted by the peace making effort of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, with members of his Executive Council, on the matter. They were reported to have intervened by ‘reconciling’ the couple. This was after the management of Channels released a statement condemning domestic violence and promising to investigate the matter.
Expectedly, being an issue that was brought to the “People’s Court” on social media, hues of comments torrentially poured on her seeming Caveat thereby raising the question, “Is the beating of Mrs. Angbo by her husband a private business or public business?”
Without beating around the bush in this context, this writer is of the view that wife beating is a public business, particularly as it impacts on societal morality and in that light erodes the values placed on matrimony by the society.
Analyzed from the foregoing perspective, it suffices to say that if it is not antithetical to the collective morality of the people, governments all over the world would not have been bothered wasting time and funds on conceptualizing, implementing and amending laws against wife beating.
In the same vein, non-governmental bodies, such as Women In Nigeria (WIN) would not have been spending much time and resources standing firm in defense of battered women. It would be recalled that the body once fought the case of a woman who lost four teeth from a beating by her husband. The body, no doubt, decided to meddle into the matter, as supporters of wife beating would say, by reason of being opposed to any harmful practice against women
In fact, Nigerians, particularly Lagosians, will not forget in a hurry how Mr. Akolade Arowolo, a 31 year old self-acclaimed youth pastor, was convicted for killing his banker wife, Titilayo Omozoje at their residence, 8, Akindeinde Street, Isolo, Lagos. Arowolo was charged to court for allegedly stabbing his wife, a banker, to death on June 24, 2011.
Sadly enough, the death knell that showed him the way to the hangman’s noose was sounded for him by Justice Lateefat Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court in 2019 sentenced him to death over the murder of his wife, Titilayo.
At this juncture, it would be recalled that prior to the pronouncement of death sentence on him that a co- tenant to the Arowolos, Adewale Adeyemi, testified that the couple had had a troubled marriage. He said that on the day of the incident, he heard a loud noise and when he looked from his apartment later, he saw Mr. Arowolo rushing out with a deep cut in his palm. He asserted that he saw a hammer and a knife that had a broken handle, somewhere in the yard.
In the same vein, the security man at the Arowolos residence, an investigating police officer and an MTN staff, also testified against the pastor. Therefore, given the foregoing views, those that erroneously think that wife beating is a private business should perish the thought henceforth because if it was a private business of the Arowolos that should not be the business of the public, their co-tenants and security personnel attached to their residence would not have being invited to testify at the court.
To those that are ostensibly in support of wife beating as they kept suggesting that it should remain a private affair, they may be shocked to the marrow when informed in this context that a 27-year-old man, Promise David, few days ago, has beaten his 18-year-old baby mama, Miss Esther Pascal, to death during a fight over food and welfare money for their baby. The incident happened on Sunday night, on December 9, 2020, on Ebis Mechanic Road, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. As gathered from news reports, the deceased had a two-year-old daughter for her lover who works for a popular car wash outlet in the Yenagoa metropolis.
Some residents of the neighbourhood said the quarrels between the lovers had been recurring lately. A resident, who spoke in confidence at a media parley, said they were woken up around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday by the loud cry of the deceased calling for help.
News reports on public domain added: “By the time few of us got to their door, it was locked from inside. But we forced it open and met the deceased on the floor. We quickly tried to revive her with water thinking she fainted but we discovered that she was dead. We immediately apprehended the man and alerted the police.”
To this end, this writer, in his opinion, is vehemently saying that Wife Beating is not the ‘business’ Nigerians should not be mindful of.