~Vanguard Nigeria. Sunday, May 28, 2017.
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine whose profession had to do with the 'bench' was forced to bring her' irresponsible' husband to order. According to her, he was a chronic womanizer who'd humiliated her especially with his lack of choice when lusting after sex. "When you're tanked to the eyebrow;" he often bragged, "who cares what a dame looks like?"
His behaviour got a little reckless when he invited his latest girlfriend and her friends to the naming ceremony of the latest arrival to the family. A good 'friend' of the husband pointed out the culprit and her friends to the wife. They stuck out like a sore thumb anyway, since they were seated in the living room far from the prying eyes of guests and relations. To get to the toilet you had to go through the bedroom and my friend stationed one of her sisters in the room. If she caught any of the 'rebels' passing through to get to the toilet, she should let her know.
When that eventually happened, my friend made sure the girl was back on her seat before she raised an alarm that some pieces of jewellery were missing from her room. She looked frantically around until her eyes rested on the girls, seemingly for the first time.
"I don't know you lot", she said innocently, then turning to relations in the room she asked "did any of you come with these guests?" Nobody claimed the "contraband goods" and the husband, bottles of beer in hand, quickly disappeared into the crowd.
My friend's brother then started roughening up the girls, accusing them of stealing money and jewellery when one of them passed through the bedroom. A few slaps here, some caustic words there, the girls were threatened with police action. They were eventually 'released' with the girlfriend's clothes in shreds.
When a few days later, my friend's husband meal wasn't ready, that was the cue for him to retaliate.
He puffed and huffed and threatened and when his wife lost her patience, twak.!
After giving her a beating she would remember for a long time, he left the house in anger. The wife quickly locked up. Afterall, she was the one allocated the house. When the husband came back in the wee hours of the morning and realized he was locked out, he saw red.
He put his angry fist through a window and there was blood all over the place.
My friend quickly went out the back door, got into her car and raced to the nearest police station. She flashed her ID and informed the sleepy officers that someone in her house was destroying government property. The men in uniform quickly came with her and matched the protesting husband to the cell. late in the evening, after she'd given me an emotional account of what she went through, I finally persuaded her to go and bail her husband out since she was the complainant. She insisted I come with her, so I did. You wouldn't believe the rapport that had quickly existed between the husband and his fellow 'prisoners'! Stripped to the waist, bare-footed and looking unkempt, he was sharing cigarettes with other inmates when we came in.
"Look O! My wife is here", he yelled sarcastically. Unfortunately, he didn't point out which one of us was the wife. "Ashawo" some of them spat in unison. I was shocked at the hostility in their eyes. "Look at their yagayaga legs". "He come go lock em husband because she read book, yeye woman. Small time now, na from em boyfriend house she de come … " "You get luck say we de here. Sebi you wan look for man. If we handle you, you go see man, you go run … " I wished the floor would swallow me!
We hurried to the DPO's office. After a lot of reluctance from her husband and a lot of ministering from the DPO and I, the angry husband finally got out of his cell and went through the humiliating experience of retrieving the rest of his 'belongings' from the custody of the police who had earlier strip-searched him. It was a pathetic sight and I really felt sorry for him. He refused to come home with us in full glare of the neighbours. It was no surprise when the marriage crashed a few years later. One of my friend's colleagues, who'd shown a lot of disdain at the man's battering of his friend, was too happy to deal with him in her court during their divorce. "You," he spat at the now subdued man, 'beating and publicly disgracing a judge … ". The divorce case must be the quickest on record to have been dealt with in recent times, giving the husband no option than to pack out of his matrimonial home, the rest of his dignity in shreds.
I recently ran into my friend's now ex-husband and he assured me he wasn't sorry to see the back of his wife. "Give a woman a little power, and it goes into her head," he said bitterly, "Tell me, what is the success rate of woman who've headed multinational companies? If you can't manage a little thing as the successful running of your matrimonial home, how can you handle a much bigger responsibility? How would she have felt if I'd gotten her locked up in a police cell? She didn't even give a thought to the children we had together."
I reminded him of the constant abuse and his chronic womanizing, which finally resulted in the break-up of the marriage. "A lot of men beat their wives," he defended himself, "is that such a crime? And tell me what virile man wouldn't womanize with all these half-clad women throwing their boobs at you? Let me tell you, my new wife is a teacher and seldom raises her voice at me. The husband no matter how lowly, should be the head of his family – not a power drunk wife!"
I suppressed a retort as I watched him walk away, looking more wretched than when my friend left him!