24th August, 2011
The manner and rate at which Nigerian men batter their wives or girlfriends these days is preposterous and must stop.
In June this year, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Kenya and the Seychelles, Dr. Chijioke Wilcox Wigwe, was recalled by President Goodluck Jonathan after he allegedly pummeled his wife, Tess, sending her to hospital in a near death state.
Also in June, Mr. Akolade Arowolo, a jobless graduate, was arrested by the police in Lagos on suspicions that he stabbed Titilayo, his banker wife, to death after an argument.
Arowolo was alleged to have stabbed his wife about 20 times before abandoning her lifeless body in their apartment.
Millions of other women, especially in urban and rural areas where the majority of Nigerians live, are battered daily without the matter being reported to the police. Some are even killed after minor arguments by husbands who want to show they are â€˜the bossâ€™. This is unacceptable.
The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, disclosed recently that the State Government receives about 400 complaints of domestic violence against women daily. Nationwide, the statistics may be shocking.
The reasons are multiple but taking the life of your wife no matter what transpired is unacceptable and must be condemned by all.
It is true that the battered economy in the country does not help matters. About 43 million Nigerians are said to be jobless and those who have jobs can barely make ends meet as inflation keeps skyrocketting.
Over one million Nigerian youths each year are said to apply for admission into higher institutions but only 200,000 of them end up securing admission. The rest end up being misfits in the society. In such conditions, men feel frustrated, tensions rise at home and husbands who are the breadwinners of every family feel let down by their country and vent their anger on their spouses.
The anger can be in form of verbal abuse which can sometimes snowball into a fist fight and then death. This is not the solution as it makes life even harder for the man and his children are exposed to all kinds of discriminations and hardship afterward.
Battering women because life is hard and killing them in the process is a rash decision that must be condemned and punished.
On the other hand, as Adefulire explained recently, some women are not playing the role of helping hand they are meant to play.
Jobless men return every evening from job search frustrated and expectant to find care, love and understanding at home, only to realise that their wives are making life even harder for them. Some women even become unfaithful, dating other men in the open and making their frustrated husbands a laughing stock in his neighbourhood. This is unacceptable and can only lead to violence and divorce.
But, no matter the reason, domestic violence must be jettisoned and dialogue and peaceful means adopted to resolve marital problems.
Violent men who simply enjoy beating their wives because they are breadwinners and must show their superiority must be arrested and prosecuted.
Women who are battered regularly must not wait until death comes because it will be too late to report the matter to the police. Policemen are not magicians and can only enforce the law when they are duly informed.
We call on Nigerian women to report every domestic violence to the police. We also call on the Nigerian police to enforce the law in due course. We also call for understanding by couples to avoid violence in the home. It is only when there is peace in the families that there could be prosperity.