Reports of men beating their wives to death, sons killing
their fathers or mothers, and youths killing their siblings
have been in the news lately. Some cases of domestic
violence are, however, more terrible than others: it has
just been reported that a pregnant woman has been
stabbed to death by her 21-year-old husband in Bayelsa
State. The incident which occurred at Immiringi
community of Ogbia LGA was the climax of an alleged
domestic squabble between the couple.
Misunderstandings between couples often end with
disastrous consequences, especially in these days of
economic hardship. Tension has gripped many homes as
poverty and joblessness buffet a majority of Nigerians.
There have been cases of husbands giving their wives
acid bath or beating them to death. But stabbing a
pregnant woman to death (like the one that happened in
President Goodluck Jonathan’s home LGA) is as
horrendous as it can get and deserves the condemnation
of every decent society. It was not just the death of the
woman but also that of her unborn child.
When such cases occur, apart from the initial outcry
from so-called civil societies and rights groups, the
crimes only end up as footnotes in police records. If at
all they get to the courts, legal technicalities stall
proceedings. Soon, they are forgotten and everyone
returns to business as usual. Do the women recollect the
details of the Beijing Declaration? Is it all about
Affirmative Action and 33 per cent of political offices?
What are the women groups doing to prevent this kind
of unsavoury incident?
This case calls to mind the challenges of early marriage.
If the man is just 21, then, it is likely that the woman
was even younger. Both were not sufficiently
psychologically matured and ready for the stress and
strain of married life. They were two “babies” playing
adults’ game. Some parents are in the habit of pushing
their children into marriage even when they are not
ready. Women rights groups should intensify ongoing
efforts towards protecting young girls from parental
pressures that ultimately lead to untimely deaths such
as the one in question.
Any man who is mad enough to cause the death of his
own wife should be sent to a psychiatric hospital and
not a police cell. There is need to find out the mindset of
such a man. We appreciate the efforts of the police to
dig up the details of such matters in their investigations.
But it is sad to note that, in the past, such efforts only
ended up as a needless show of professionalism that
never yielded any tangible result capable of assuaging
public angst. Let this case not go the way of similar past
Posted On The Move By The Priest