Mercy Aigbe, Lanre Gentry: Another Look at Domestic Violence


Loud Whispers

Before I am pilloried by the sad majority, let me first put it out there that I DO NOT SUPPORT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN ANY WAY. Either it is on a female or on a male. With that out of the way, I would like to state here that the way this whole thing is being handled in society of today just smacks of hypocrisy and a one-sided defence. And that is why the issue will continue to simmer. All you hear is that ‘there is no justification for hitting a woman’ which I fully agree but do you continue to fight a fire without tackling the source? Once a man stupidly loses his temper and makes the fatal mistake of hitting a woman, even if it is with a feather he is doomed.

All bricks are thrown at the unfortunate man, who would have over the years been suffering in silence, taking all sorts of impunities and abuses, and in some cases adultery. This particular case, I have taken a deep interest in it. Today, the man has been reported to be remanded in prison and nobody is listening to his side of the story simply because he has hit his wife. What led to all that is no longer an issue and the lady will go on the victory lap egged on by the sad majority, only to go to the next marriage or next life to continue with the same behaviour simply because nobody had taken the time to sit her down to explain to her just what led to all of this. A man, who has fathered a child with her and who just two months ago she was ‘hailing’ to high heavens as her god on earth is today suffering like a common criminal simply because he could no longer hold back as a result of the provocations he could no longer handle. My plea to society is to at least be fair and look at both sides in this matter in a bid to at least curb this very regular and ugly incidence of domestic violence. Much as I agree that there is no justification for battering a woman, the woman herself must also be ready to work with her husband in ending this. Let me come out of the closet, I used to be a regular culprit. I used to have a wild temper and after each episode, I would go on a humiliating begging spree.

Beg everybody within sight, even the maiguard, I would beg just to get my wife back. I noticed very quickly the sad majority will be pushing my wife to leave the house. Abandon three children? Don’t ever agree. Most of them widows and single women all willing to jump in bed with me at the drop of the hat but would still be screaming, ‘you can’t be beating your wife, is she a punching bag? I would just be begging them all until peace would be restored. I used to hate myself and started going for counselling, both professional and spiritual. But in all this, I noticed that nobody was talking to my wife, she claimed the moral high ground, feeling that she was the victim. I was the victim here, I was the one that was taking months’ of provocation, taunting, abuse, disrespect, tongue-lashing and when I couldn’t take it anymore and lashed out, I immediately became the villain. All the counselling was not working because the source was not being addressed. My mother was still being called a witch and a prostitute, I was still being called a useless oaf and an irresponsible father. The sad majority was still taking my wife against my orders to useless Owambe parties and coming home late despite my misgivings; the counsellor and the system was not addressing this. What they would say is leave the marriage. The fact that you were unhappy and sad never meant you no longer loved the woman, nor did it also mean that you were going to throw your little kids into a divorce mess. So one day, I decided to take my matter into my own hands. I locked my wife in the room and drew up a list of the things that provoked me, turning me into a ‘beast’.

I begged her to try and work on those things. Do not call my mother a witch no matter what, regulate the Owambe parties and limit it to just family and close friends, do not push your tongue out at me when we are having an argument, allow me explain myself anytime we are arguing on an issue, do not jump into a loud, rash verbal assault, cursing me out and abusing my father and all my ancestors. I knelt down and begged her to help me stop beating her and that her friends who always jumped in, asking her to leave were already preparing to replace her. Showing her evidence of this, I thank God that she immediately started working on herself and ever since, I have not touched her in the last 10 years. I even pasted the Do’s and Don’ts on the walls of her room. I have decided to expose myself like this because I feel not only for Lanre but for men in general. The society has not been rigged to handle this matter holistically, hence this push and plea for this issue to be looked at from the source. This is just a plea and as usual, I know nobody will listen to me and we will continue to watch this issue go on unabated. Let us look at this whole thing again. Na beg.
Pastor T.B. Joshua: Please Don’t Go
Baba, is it true you are leaving? I do not believe this o. But the news is everywhere. I even heard that our Information Minister has joined the bandwagon pleading with you to reconsider. Oga, I see your frustrations but it is not only you o. If you are running away because they persecute your mission, then what do you want the rest of us who cannot even find food to eat to do? I hear your mission is responsible for over 60% of our tourism receipts, hence the interest of the federal government in this your matter. Going to Israel will not be a solution, I think you should sit down and rethink this matter. Competition for your ‘business’ in Israel will be too much o. You will be a small fish there unlike here where you remain a giant. If you go now, what will happen to the rest of us in need of miracles especially those of us who will not be able to come over to Israel? This is a major calamity for us miracle seekers. Let me beg you not to go, but should you insist on still leaving, let me ask what will happen to the Nigerian franchise, will it be up for sale as I remain interested. Let me know sir. Thank you.
Musiliu Obanikoro : Stay Put
I have just seen the news report refuting your alleged decamping from the PDP to APC with some relief. The report even went ahead to explain that you were just repairing your relationship with the Asiwaju and that in no way meant you are decamping. Only an inexperienced watcher of Nigerian politics would believe that. You people always test the waters before making your move and if you ask me, your move is as inevitable as tomorrow coming and this is sad. Sad because once again we have shown that as a nation we have failed woefully in building a polity based on ideology and principle. The personality cult that drives our politics remains strong and rabid, hence our inability to achieve any form of cohesion in nation building. It remains your prerogative and constitutional right to choose your association and affiliation but then, while doing that, you must also bear in mind how posterity and history will treat you. If everybody crosses to APC, then where is the virile opposition that we need for the growth of our democracy. I have said my own sha and I know you will not listen. I wish you luck.
Kemi Olunloyo : Another Fervent Plea
I would like to once again beg whoever is responsible for the continued incarceration of Kemi to kindly reconsider and assist in freeing her. There is nothing that she has done that cannot be forgiven. Granted, she has been a thorn in the flesh of so many personalities, even the General Overseer of the Redeemed Church. However, throwing her in jail will not help her rehabilitation or even give whoever is behind  her travails the peace of mind he so desires. I am on my knees, appealing very fervently to you sir, to kindly withdraw the charges and seek other means of ‘curing’ Kemi. Kemi is not normal o. She is my friend and nobody takes her vituperations seriously, hence this appeal. What she needs is rehabilitation, not prison. Prison will do nothing for her and it may even lead to depression and a possible suicidal tendencies. Baba please, if you give me your address or phone number, I will come to Port Harcourt and cry at your feet, I will hold your feet and let my hot tears touch you, I will use your innocent children’s head to beg you. Kindly withdraw these charges, I cannot sleep anymore. Baba, I really beg. Thank you as you consider my plea.
Kayode Ehizode for Yaba
Kayode is contesting for the APC chairmanship position, Yaba LCDA. Kayode is part of an emerging army of professionals beginning to jump into the cold waters of politics. Kay is a professional who has given close to 20 years to the Oil and Gas industry, performing with integrity and high merit. You see, I have chosen to support him and endorse him simply because of my belief that a new breed should begin to position themselves as the older generation begins to reach their twilight years. Apart from this,  Kayode has shown tremendous resolve and capacity to handle the challenge that would come with the office, thereby giving the people of Yaba a new lease of life. Kay baba, the endorsement from the Duke of Shomolu is heavier than gold and please see me on Saturday so that I give you a note to Bourdilon, I know the gateman there. You no get problem.