From North to South, East to West, domestic violence against women has reached an unacceptable level, leaving behind a flow of blood, pain and sadness.
Who will stop the brutal treatment and gruesome killing of women? Who will bell the cat? From different parts of the country, the number of women that have fallen victims of domestic violence has been rising. The unwholesome and horrendous situation presents society with this big question: must we allow domestic violence to continue claiming the lives of our women? Is there any justification for a man to cut the life of a woman short, whether spouse, concubine or girlfriend?
People in Amafor, Imerienwe, a serene community in Imo State, woke up to the shocking and gut-wrenching news that a respected 85-year-old knight of the Catholic Church and retired Director-General of Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), Sir T.C. Okere had allegedly stabbed his wife of over 50 years, Mrs. Beatrice Okere, to death on Sunday, May 24, 2020. She was 80 years old.
News of the homicide spread like harmattan fire in dry grass and trended on social media. It was the top story reported in several newspapers and broadcast on radio and television. Before her untimely demise, Mrs. Okere was a retiree of the Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo in Owerri West Council Area, Imo State. Media reports, quoting some anonymous kinsmen, stated that Sir Okere had been suffering from dementia for some time now.
While Nigerians were still enveloped in grief over the ugly incident, considering the age and status of the alleged suspect and the victim, 22-year-old Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a 100-Level student of University of Benin, who went to a nearby branch of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) at Osa Amadasun, off Agbor road, to study was attacked, raped and killed.
Pray, what was wrong in her decision to study in a quiet place like a church that was not holding worship service? Absolutely nothing! The hoodlums from the pit of hell, hit her on the head with a fire extinguisher after raping her. She bled to death. Incensed by the gruesome killing, students of her institution went on a protest march round the city before heading for the Edo Police Command headquarters to demand speedy investigation of the case. The students were joined by celebrities who carried placards with the inscription, #JusticeFor Uwa. As this was still in the news, 17-year-old Tina Ezekwe was felled by a stray bullet fired by a trigger-happy, blood-thirsty policeman.
With anguish in my heart, I ask this one question: are women safe in their homes, neighbourhoods, church, hospitals, amusement parks, etc? As it is happening in Nigeria the story is not different for our sisters in the Diaspora, who have been murdered because of their six-figure earned as qualified, registered skilled and practicing professional nurses. Do we talk about women in other professions like banking, who have experienced emotional trauma in the hands of husbands?
These few instances are only the ones publicised by social media. Only God knows what happened in the era of just the traditional, mainstream media when such things would happen without instant reporting. They could even be suppressed altogether and kept out of the newspapers. So women were just killed like chickens. A chapter closed. Men who are women killers, either emotionally, physically and economically would be free to parade in the society and even start new relationships with another woman, and boast about it.
There are still many women in bondage, held by their jugular and close to death, but are still married. Women who go through emotionally and physically abusive relationships should number their days. Is it a crime or sin to be a girl,lady, woman or mother? What is the offence of any woman to deserve brutal killing? Who will stop the killing of women in the land?When will justice come for the womenfolk in the land?
All the instances cited above were pathetic deaths that cut across all ages, tribes and class. This is a sad period and harvest of deaths. Where are the stakeholders? Where are the female human rights activists of our time? Where are the female celebrities and firebrand female lawyers. Where are the hot pen female journalists? The time to unite and act is now.
Dear Nigerian women, please be alert in the spirit while you are married. If your husband is abusive, walk away from that marriage. God created you and you are entitled to life. Women who endure abusive husbands because of the children have no excuse. Walk away with your children. An abusive man cannot change. It is only a living woman that can continue with the marriage after the situation has normalised. The moment one woman goes down in death, another would replace her before long and life continues. Sisters be wise!