“It was my mistake, I loved a corper during my secondary school days. He almost ruined my future, he promised to take care of me but ran away when I revealed my pregnancy to him.”
Linus Oota, Lafia
A long string of bad decisions stretching from 1997 to 2018 has thrown a family in Nasarawa State into a messy situation of horrific proportion. This has left a 20-year-old lady, Faith Adagu, with a four-month pregnancy that resulted from a romantic relationship between her and a man she had never known as her biological father.
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Already, the 60-year-old grandmother of Faith, Mary Adagu, who heard about the sordid affair slumped and later died from a heart attack. And Faith’s mother is so bitter and heartbroken by what has befallen her.
The road that brought the family to this pass began in 1997, when the man at the centre of the messy affair, Jones Geya, an English Language graduate of University of Jos, who hails from Eggon Local Government Area, Nasarawa State, was posted to Lokoja, Kogi State, for the mandatory youth service in September 1996. In the course of the service year, the then youth corps member fell in love with Theresa Adagu, who was sitting for the 1997 May/June West African School Certificate examination. A dalliance between them resulted in a pregnancy.
Theresa was afraid to tell her mummy about the development, and the mother who was then a businesswoman could not notice the pregnancy on time and only became aware of it after about three to four months. When questioned, Theresa spilled the beans, saying that Jones was responsible. He was invited by the mother and Jones promised to marry Theresa, especially after Mary stridently informed him that her late father placed a curse on her children that any of them that procured an abortion would die in the process.
So the option of aborting the pregnancy even though at early stage was ruled out. At this point, Jones had completed his service and had a part time job. He informed his parents about Theresa’s pregnancy with the intent of marrying her. Unfortunately, his father put his foot down and refused to allow it, arguing that Jones was too young and had just graduated without a good job. Faced with this dilemma, Jones absconded from Lokoja, and completely out of her life. He left her to fate, to carry the cross alone.
After Jones disappeared, Theresa’s father insisted that the pregnancy should be aborted in order for her to further her education but the mother opposed this on the grounds that her own father before dying placed a curse on his children that any of them that would abort a pregnancy would die instantly. Moreover, she stressed, Mr. Joseph Adagu, her husband, married her after impregnating her while serving in Lokoja as a police officer.
In early 1998, Theresa gave birth to a baby girl and she was named Faith. The girl grew up in Lokoja and completed her secondary school in 2016.
On her part, Faith’s mother, Theresa, later went to the University of Abuja and graduated with a degree in Biology, served in Lagos State and later got a job with a pharmaceutical company. She got married to a banker from Osun State and both of them live in Lagos. But Faith continued to reside in Lokoja with her grandparents. Mr Adagu who retired as a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and later died in 2013.
Jones later surfaced in Kaduna, where he taught briefly in a private school before moving to Kano, to take up appointment in PW Nigeria Limited, a construction company popular in the northern part of the country. He was later transferred to Abuja, from where he was sacked.
While working in the company, Jones got married to his first wife in 2004 and she died the following year during labour. Five years later, in 2009, he met another woman, Mercy, from Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State and they got married in 2010 when Mercy was six months pregnant. Tragically, Mercy died not long after in a ghastly auto accident along the Katsina Ala-Ukum road in Benue state while travelling to buy a truckload of fresh stock of yams in Ukum. Later the same year, Jones lost his job with PW Nigeria Limited.
Life became so unbearable for Jones in Abuja and he relocated to Lafia, capital of his home state, Nasarawa, where he got engaged in printing services, to earn a living. Soon after, his father who had discouraged him from marrying Theresa died.
Coincidentally, Faith completed her secondary education in Lokoja with Adagu as her surname. But she could not pass the JAMB UTME, to secure university admission. A friend residing in Lafia advised her grandmother to allow Faith enroll for a diploma programme at the Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia, instead of staying idle at home. Faith’s mother had thought of relocating her to Lagos where she lives but was afraid of her husband who might not be comfortable with Faith staying with them. So to maintain peace, Faith stayed away but the mother financed her education.
Sunday Sun gathered that Jones met Faith at a social centre and was attracted to her and a roaring romantic relationship developed between them and the young lady got pregnant. Jones who was desperate to have a child, did everything humanly possible to make sure she did not abort it, by showering her with gifts. He promptly agreed to meet her parents, but Faith stated that her father (referring to Mr. Adagu, who raised her) had died.
Earthquake of shock
The friend of the Adagu family, Mrs Fatima Ajala, who Faith was living with in Lafia, sent word to her friend, Faith’s grandmother, in Lokoja, about the pregnancy and urged her to visit Lafia. But she could not immediately undertake the trip as she said that her daughter, Theresa, Faith’s mother, needed to be present. It took Theresa two months to secure permission to travel to Lafia. By this time the pregnancy had reached five months.
On Monday 12th November 2018, both Mary and Theresa were in Lafia, in the residence of Mrs Ajala to meet with the person responsible for the pregnancy. When Jones stepped into the house, Mary did not recognize him as the incident between him and Theresa had taken place two decades ago. But Theresa recognized him despite the lapse of time. Then her world collapsed with the force of a monstrous earthquake measuring up 7.5 on the Richter scale.
Though Jones had completely forgotten about his dalliance with Theresa in 1997, when she asked if he served at Government Secondary School, Lokoja and Jones answered yes, she burst into tears.
Theresa wept uncontrollably over the shame that had befallen her daughter. She said: “It was my mistake, I loved a corper during my secondary school days. He almost ruined my future, he promised to take care of me but ran away when I revealed my pregnancy to him. My mother and late father asked me not to give up; they said that I must continue with my education. At one moment I had given up, but [then I] resolved to carry on. I delivered the baby and went on to the university.
“From that time that he left Lokoja, I never heard from him till date, I can’t allow this pregnancy to stand and I will make sure Jones goes to jail. This man abandoned me to my fate about 20 years ago, I forgave him and moved on with my life. I forgot about him completely in my life, only for him to reappear in my life again by impregnating the same girl he gave birth to and ran away without caring to know how I was doing, I will not rest until he faces justice. This is abomination, I can’t allow it.”
Crestfallen, with teary eyes, Faith said: “How could I have known that he is my father. I didn’t know the man I so much love and was going out with is actually my father. All along, my grandmother told me that my daddy had died and when I met Jones, he actually asked about my parents and I told him my daddy is late. I am shocked by this revelation that Jones is indeed my father. The mistake is from them and
it is late to reverse it now. I can’t abort my pregnancy. I don’t know whether this is the only child God will give me. We have a history of not aborting pregnancies in the family. It is a curse and my mother used to tell me about it. Breaking it can’t start from me, I might die if I try it because nobody has tried it, even among the extended family members. So I am afraid, I won’t abort it, I will deliver this baby. Who knows whether this child might be president of the country tomorrow? I can’t cut short the life of my baby. It is unfortunate but my family has to endure it. Jones is a very nice man, he has shown me love, care and affection. My first two boyfriends before I met Jones were childish, noisy and hyperactive which is a complete opposite of Jones. I understand the pains of my mother. I know the science behind having a child with a blood relative but to me this is not the end of the world and I will continue to soldier on. I made this vow while growing up that I would never undergo abortion, even my own mother told me and we can’t change it now. I will deliver this child and further my education.”
Deeply sobered by the swirl of the revelation and its implications, Jones went on his knees to beg Theresa, pleading that it was his father who discouraged him from marrying her. He said: “My life has been totally turned upside down. I have had so many misfortunes in life, I think I might have missed out on something, I did not have the movement of so-called normal people during adolescence and that misfortune grew up with me. I went to service and got into this problem. Later on, two of my wives died in quick successions in mysterious circumstances as if I was under a curse. I lost my job in Abuja, and I am now involved in this mess. The desperation to have a child pushed me into falling in love with Faith, not knowing she was actually my daughter. If I had known, I would not have tried it at all; it is quite unfortunate. When she told me her father is late, I didn’t know she was referring to the father of her own mother. I completely regret my actions. I am completely confused about my life and for this very one, I don’t have anything to say yet. I have completely wronged Theresa, whatever thing she says is her right because I actually hurt her. I am pleading to her to calm down so that we can settle this matter in the best possible way. I am completely short of words and can’t say anything more for now.”
Upon hearing that Jones was the long lost would-have-been son-in-law, and comprehending what she heard, the grandmother slumped and was rushed to Dalhatu Arab Specialist Hospital, Lafia, where the doctors managed to stabilize her. Theresa then moved her to Lokoja where she died of a heart attack.