THE ENEMY WITHIN

“Biyi hasn’t worked for that long?” Dayo’s voice drips with resentment. “For real?” “He’s been trying,” I said in feeble attempt to defend my husband. “You know how the economy is.”
…My husband and I had vowed never to bring in a third party into our relationship but with a bank account screaming for revival, I need to share my burden with someone else. I grip the phone….

Dayo is unusually quiet. “You still there?” I asked. “Hello?” “I am here,” she says. “I just didn’t know things were this bad. And all this while, I thought Biyi was providing for the Home.” But he is, I argued silently; Well, maybe not financially for now, but in every way else, Biyi is a rock. “It’s not that bad.” My words sound frail. Dayo clucks her tongue. “You might as well be a widow.”
The words hit me like a fist. “Na you I blame,” she continues, oblivious to the damage her words have caused.

“Me? Why?” She is blaming me for this? Seriously?
“Why do you keep paying the bills?”
“Because there is no one else to do it,” I protested and upset.
“For real? He drives your car too?”
“He needs it,” I mutter. “To attend job interviews and stuff. He gets back late sometimes.”
“How late are you talking?
“Nine, ten…ish.”
Dayo pauses for a second. “I hate to say this gurl, but your husband spending your money on another woman.” Whoa! Hang on. Where did that come from? “Haba, Dayo. Biyi would never—” “Look, I know men,” she slices in. “You are his moneybag and he will take you for a ride as long as it takes. Where is your dignity, gurl?” Ride. Dignity. Moneybag. Ouch. “But he’s a good guy,” I manage. Can my husband be using me? It had never crossed my mind in the past, but I now wonder if Biyi is actually having an affair.
“I trust my wonderful Dennis…,” Dayo is saying. I barely listen. My eyes are on the clock. It’s almost midnight and Biyi isn’t home. I forced myself to hear what Dayo was saying about Dennis Ono, her multimillionair e-oil- company-golden-husband. Gosh I envy her life and her perfect marriage. “My marriage is wonderful,” Dayo says, as if in affirmation to my undeclared words. “But only because I show Dennis who the boss is. He cannot try nonsense with me. Abi, you think it’s easy to get ten thousand pounds a month as pocket money?” She really gets ten grand a month? That’s like, my entire annual salary in my crappy job plus bonuses. Life is unfair. Honestly.

“I am Biyi’s wife,” I said. “I cannot just desert him.” Or can I? At this rate… “In that case,” there is an edge to her voice now, “give him an ultimatum. He gets a job in two weeks or you are out of that marriage.”
“I—”
“Look, I know his type,” she says with conviction. “He conveniently won’t get a job as long as you keep dishing out your money.”
“But—”
“Starve him,” she adds. “No sex. Make life hell. You are not an ATM machine.”
Keys jangle in the hallway. Biyi is home. “Talk later,” I said to Dayo. “He’s back.” “Stand your ground,” Dayo whispers menacingly. “Ultimatum. Two weeks.” I hang up with a sigh.

My husband is leaning against the door frame. For a second my heart falters. He looks tired and drawn. But Dayo’s words punctuated my compassion. “Where have you been?” Biyi gives me a side smile. “No hug?” I jerk my head at the wall clock.” Its midnight.” “I had a job interview in Birmingham,” he says. “I called you to tell you I was stuck in traffic severally but I kept getting your voicemail. What’s wrong?” I cocked my head. Is that a whiff of female perfume? It is. Dayo is right. He has been with another woman. With my car!! Spending my money!! My head spins. “Biyi,” I glared at him, “Where are you coming from?” He steps back, surprised. “I went to Birmingham—”
“Did you get it?” I screeched. “The job?”
Biyi shakes his head. “I didn’t—”
This is the last straw. I wrench my hand out. “My car keys.”
He gives me a hard level stare. “What is wrong with you, Toni? Did I offend you?”
“Pass my keys!”

He thrusts the car keys into my palm. I pushed past him, grab my duffel bag and stuff my overnight things into it. I know I am acting crazy but I have to show him that I would not be taken for a ride. That I am not a moneybag. That I have dignity. I zip the bag up and spin around. My husband is staring at me. “Is everything all right with you, sweetheart?”
“Get out of my way.”
“Where are you going with that bag?”
“I need to clear my head.” I am still yelling.
“Can we talk first?” Biyi suggests.
“I don’t want to talk. Get out of my way.”
He moves out of my path. I swipe a hand across my face, smearing my cheeks with mascara. “Don’t look for me. I will be back when my head clears.” I rush out of the house and jumped into my car. My rage doubles as the feminine scent permeates the car. He has been with a woman in my car. I felt like an idiot.

* * *

I pulled up in front of Dayo’s mansion. Her husband’s Porsche is in the driveway, and the porch lights illuminate my dreary form as I reach the door. I ball my fists to knock, but a scream freezes the motion.

“Kill me!” I heard Dayo scream. “Good for nothing idiot. Womaniser of the century!” Whoa. Momentarily, I am unable to move. My hand hovers in the air. Dull thuds, muffled screams. Dennis curses. “I warned you never to serve me stew that is not freshly cooked!” “Am I your slave?” Dayo yells back. “If you want fresh stew, get your PA to cook it for you. Or you think I don’t know about her? You think…”

Dayo’s words are silenced by another thump. My hands fall to my side as a flurry of blows stifle her cries. I wanted to call the police, do something…anything. But I could not move. And so I shut my eyes tight and listened as my friend is pummelled by her husband.

The beating stops. I should dash to my car but something holds me back. “I am sorry I got you upset darling,” Dayo finally says. Her voice is laced with pain. “It is my fault. I should have cooked for you. I…Toni wouldn’t let me get off the phone…its her fault.”

“Next time you talk to me like that, I will tattoo a punch on your forehead,” Dennis growls. “Get into the kitchen and make me fresh stew. And do something about that leech you call a friend.”

That was enough for me. I sprint back to my car and drive home.

* * *
A knock sounds on the window. Biyi. I wind down and he gives me a smile. “Head clear now?” he asks. “Leave me alone,” I mutter. Dayo’s wonderful Dennis beats her up? And she never mentioned?

“I will leave you alone in two seconds,” Biyi says. There is a twinkle in his eyes. “But first, get out of the car.” I oblige, grudgingly. “What?” He reaches under the car seat and pulls out a small basket. “I didn’t come home straight from the interview. I stopped over at the Perfume shop to get you this.” He hands the basket over. Inside is a range of exotic feminine perfumes and a small card. I pull the card open, read the words: “Thank you for your support during the hardest times of my life! I love you.”
“That’s why I was late,” he explains as he pulls me into a warm embrace. “You have been so good to me, Toni. I couldn’t have asked for a better wife.” I couldn’t reply. My throat is lumpy.

“When you left the house to clear your head, I got a call back from the recruiter,” he says with a beam. “God answers prayers, babe. I got the job. It’s a package you won’t believe. Let’s go in. I’ll tuck you into bed and you can tell me what’s bothering you?”

* * *

I awaken to a text message from Dayo. “Denis is flying me to Seychelles this weekend. This is what you get when you stand your ground. You have to be a no nonsense gurl! Don’t you just love my life? Ciao sweetheart xxx.”
I typed a quick response back: “Ciao!” and I quickly deleted her number right away.

Now, this is one story every woman should read. The grass is never greener on the other side, best to believe that. No matter how good a friend’s marriage is, NEVER EVER compare your marriage!

Hmmmmm!!! I hope ? someone reads this.

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For Her Sake: Let Us Arise

Who would fall in love with a beautiful damsel and not rise to protect her in the face of danger?This has been the case of my beloved country, Nigeria.
An essential point often neglected in discourses about democracy is that democratic governance is about values. In otherwords, democracy properly so-called entails that certain values are fundamental such that without them it would be virtually impossible to have a government that is truly “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Of all the axiological pillars or presuppositions of genuine democracy, the overarching value is ontological, from which the others flow. It involves the conviction that, as human beings, all members of the community are equal sui generis in the sense that they are all free human beings with equal rights to participate in the political life of the community. This is often captured in the hackneyed theological cliché that “all human beings are created equal,” which is only true mathematically given that in the essential physical, mental, emotional and spiritual attributes of homo sapiens, we are not equal. Therefore, the concept of equality of all humans is true to a very limited extent; but when it is applied in a political context, what is intended involves the moral demand that all members of the community should be treated with respect and dignity befitting of the human person. This implies that discrimination on the basis of birth, caste, gender, religion, ethnicity and socio-economic status is inimical to genuine democracy and, as a result, cannot be tolerated. Next is the belief that citizens that have attained a prescribed age have certain inalienable political rights, including the right to participate directly in choosing those that will lead them and can take part directly in actual governance – the freedom to vote and be voted for. In concrete terms, any citizen that meets certain criteria for a particular political position can vie for that position. Now, since free and fair election at periodic intervals has become the most acceptable form of selecting those to occupy different political offices, each vote, either cast through a ballot paper or, in contemporary times electronically, is deemed to be of equal weight to every other irrespective of the personal background or status of the voter. In this connection, majority rule is one of the pillars of democracy. It does not mean that the majority always makes the right choice; rather, it means that it is more reasonable to allow the majority to have the final word in political choices. Nevertheless, the rights of minorities, irrespective of how ‘minorities’ is defined in different contexts, must not be trampled upon, and appropriate measures must be instituted as safeguards to avoid dictatorship of the majority. it is necessary that people should be actively involved in the political life of the community. Participation in government is based on merit; there is no place or room for hereditary privileges. Just as the citizens have the right to choose their leaders, they also have the power to replace one set of political leaders with another at stated intervals. This is where democratic governance is superior to other forms of government. For, as Prof. Karl Popper argued, the main advantage of democracy over tyranny or dictatorship is that it provides a non-violent means of replacing bad leaders whose continuation in office would be disastrous for the country. Rule of law and equality before the law is also an important value in democracy because the law and legal procedures should apply equally to all citizens. It must be pointed out that the evolution of democratic governance throughout history has been extraordinarily arduous and that the quality of democracy differs both historically and geographically, meaning that various countries of the world have achieved different levels of democratic governance at different times. Since democracy is always a work-in-progress, and given that none of the values identified above can be actualised perfectly in any country, it is imperative that the citizens must be prepared to engage in the difficult task of improving the traditions and institutions upon which democracy is founded. The extent to which members of a community have internalised the values we have highlighted above determines the level of democratic culture in any political setting. Thus, the level of entrenchment of modern democratic culture in advanced western democracies is an index of the extent to which particularly the ruling elite had been able to conduct the affairs of state in accordance with democratic norms, on the one hand, and the degree of political consciousness amongst the citizens leading to their engagement with politicians and politics, on the other. It must be acknowledged that democracy thrives best in a secular environment. For example, the core principles that inform constitutional democracy must be secular in character. This means that political actors and government institutions mandated to act on behalf of the state must be separated from religious institutions and religious dignitaries. Historically speaking, fundamental human freedoms like freedom of speech, freedom of unbelief, freedom from religious imposition and so on tend to flourish in countries where secular orientation and ideas are widespread than in those ones where religion still plays a prominent role in politics. It must be mentioned in passing that the 1999 Nigerian constitution is gravely flawed because, apart from its obnoxious unitarist provisions, it contains provisions that assign an important role to sharia law, which is a complete aberration and refutation of the claim that Nigeria is a secular state. The notion or concept of democratic culture encapsulates all the values and practices that nourish and sustain democracy. Naturally, the foundational values of democracy are interconnected in that they tend to foster the culture of tolerance and consensus-building. When majority of the citizens respect democratic values and conduct their lives in accordance with them, that will engender a conducive social ecology for the emergence and consolidation of democratic culture in the society. If the opposite is true, if political leaders and their followers pay lip service to rational debate, tolerance and consensus-building and routinely resort to intimidation, violence and other illicit means to pursue their political objectives, it would be difficult to nurture democratic culture in such an inclement political environment. There is some truth in the paradoxical claim by some attentive observers of Nigerian politics that there is democracy in the country without real democrats.

What we have in Nigeria presently, like all the other periods civilians were in power, is nothing but a caricature of democracy, and what caused it can be alluded to seat-tight executive head combined with an occult-like ruling political party filled men and women of questionable characteristics with bloody and fraudulent wealth.
What do we called people who kill the same people they govern during elections? Insurgents and bandictory are fought with prayers but weapons are imported for elections just to remain in power. During the last Presidential election, more than fifteen persons were killed by soldiers and political thugs. Just two weeks later, the Guber election are held with over hundred deaths across the country. In a sane country, someone who feel remorse would have resigned but this is Nigeria where the sponsors of these killings are the ruling class.
Nigeria is in a cross road and for her survival, institutional reforms must come in, e.g a single tenure for political office holders, e-voting, and above all, true federalism that can aid security reform, accommodates all ethnic nationalities, etc. If we close our eyes and say nothing, there might not be a place called Nigeria sooner than later.

Silent killer Technology

When the phrase “air pollution” pops up anywhere, most people tend to limit it to the harmful gases that are suspended into the air due to various human activities.

Whether you are in an enclosed space or in the open, the air around is prone to poisonous elements such as Carbon monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) otherwise known as “the silent killer” is a poisonous, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas.

CO poisoning typically occurs from breathing it in at excessive levels. It causes severe damage in the body as it displaces oxygen in the blood and deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen.

CO is produced by devices that burn fuels. Therefore, any fuel-burning appliance or machine in your home is a potential CO source. A commonly used machine in an average African home is the Generator. Given the epileptic situation of the country’s electricity supply in most parts of Africa especially Nigeria, it is not uncommon to find generators in every household and business places.

However, the awareness on the dangers of inhaling this gas seems not to be enough as incidences of people getting killed by this toxic air is on the rise.

CO poisoning remains a major health issue that is underestimated in Nigeria. Many businessmen and traders have to rely on noisy and smoky generators to run their operations.

There is little left to the imagination on how CO poisoning is trivialised as every shop owner has generating sets, whether big or small.

Given the overpopulation of the country and businesses, it is not rare to see that the air in that environment is as toxic as the word itself. When the electricity supply is cut, all business owners power their generators to keep the business running.

Most of the business owners and management remained ignorant on how dangerous the smoke coming out of generators are. Pointing at some, an operator of shop lamented: “look at that corner, you see how cramped up it is? I can bet you that all the shops there have ‘I better pass my neighbour’ generators. They will never hear. I once told a man who faced his generator’s exhaust pipe into his shop that it is bad for him to be inhaling that thing. His response was ‘one thing must kill a man”.

The funny thing is that people have been dying of inhaling CO smoke, they still wouldn’t believe it as most of these death are alluded to a spiritual attack from business competitors or family enemies.

Research puts symptoms of CO as poisoning commonly include headache, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain and flu-like symptoms, a ground upon which it is easy to dismiss them as the effect of the gas poisoning because the symptoms mentioned are also related to other illnesses.

If this silent assassin must be curtained, government needs to do better on sensitising the citizens on the dangers of inhaling carbon monoxide and the kinds of machines that emit them. Since it is colourless and mostly mixes with other gases, it is difficult to tell which is which.

Advise from medical doctors samples revealed that generators should always be placed at least 20 feet away from apartments, shops or offices. It is also advised that the machines should be serviced regularly to reduce the exhaust fumes being emitted while they are being run.

Until this is done, CO remain a silent killer of Africans that must be tackled.

THE BETRAYED SPECIE

Naturally, children are agreed to be gifts from God but what some of these children go through upon birth often betray the assertion above. The case of little Abubakar will shock you.
Ashiru Abubakar, 20 of Janbiri village in Birnin-Kudu local government, Jigawa state found himself entangled in the web of Islamic Jurisprudence, which forbids one from re-marry his former wife once divorced thrice, unless she remarries elsewhere.
Abubakar divorced his wife Husaina Yusuf, 20 thrice but his love to her remained fresh in his memory. Instead of resigning to his fate he decided to engage his former wife into illicit sexual intercourse which resulted into an unwanted pregnancy.
He therefore, attempted to reject the pregnancy but when his former wife stood her ground until he later accepted it.
Abubakar’s woes seem far from ending, despite owning up to the pregnancy as his former wife, who hails from Tosowa village also in Birnin Kudu local government, insisted for the termination of the three months old pregnancy, telling him that she won’t be able to stand the stigma attached to bearing of an illegitimate child in her locality.
For the fact that he only lives on a small income he generates from his commercial motorcycle business, Abubakar told her that he was not in a position to raise N30, 000 to N50, 000 for the abortion procedure, he advised his ex-wife to keep the pregnancy since the two kids they had while together had both died.
In order to press home her demand, Hussaina threatened to kill the baby at birth but Abubakar, was able to persuade her to drop the idea after agreeing to visit one of the private hospital in Kachako in neighbouring Kano state for the abortion procedure.
But she was later advised at the hospital not to terminate the pregnancy as there are possibility for her to experience a permanent damage to her uterus in which she would not be able to bear children again.
Despite warning by the medical experts and all entreaties against aborting the pregnancy, Hussaina went ahead with her plan of terminating the pregnancy that was already in its fifth to sixth months.
An agent for Travelling and Tour Company in Kano, who was processing a document on her behalf as she was planning to travel to Saudi Arabia in search for menial job, offered to help her get the pregnancy aborted.
Finally, Hussaina was convinced to spare the pregnancy.
After returning to her village, Husaina asked her younger brother to go to her former husband to collect the sum of N50,000 being the expenses she incurred while in Kano, which he could not give because he did not have as he claimed.
Failure to respond to her request, her younger brother seized his motorcycle for six days and that forced him to sell his only phone and gave the money to her in order to have his motorcycle back.
Penultimate Friday, Husaina’s younger brother went to Abubakar and told him that his former wife had given birth to a baby girl at around noon and that by the following day they are bringing the child to him.
Since, he did not remarry after his separation with his former wife, Abubakar was thrown into confusion, not knowing what to do if the child was brought to him the following morning as threatened by his former wife’s younger brother.
In order to save himself from the looming embarrassment, Abubakar thought of a plan for a solution which unfortunately landed him in bigger trouble.
On the fateful day, Abubakar, dashed to the village of his former wife, sneaked into her room and stole the baby but in his wisdom he decided to bury the day-old baby alive with a view to laying the impending troubles to rest.
Speaking to Chronicle at Jigawa state police command, Abubakar said he allowed the saga to go out of hand because he was doubting the authenticity of his former wife’s claim of him being the father of the child, noting that though, he admitted, he did not take any action to justify his stand over the out of wedlock pregnancy.
He argued that by law he knew no woman is allowed to travel to Saudia Arabia while pregnant but his former wife claimed to have travelled the holly land while carrying his pregnancy.
He suspected that his former wife might have got the pregnancy while Saudi Arabia, claiming that he is not responsible for the pregnancy.
On why he did not seek for legal redress, Abubakar said at a point he thought of carrying the mother and the baby to a hospital for a test that would reveal whether or not he is the father of the baby.
On why he had to buried his own child alive, Abubakar, said “The mother said after giving birth, she will sit on the child until the baby dies but I pleaded with her that instead, let us look for someday that will nurse the baby.
But it seems, all that I suggested went into a deaf ear. I, therefore, decided to steal the baby in order to save her the eminent danger. I buried the baby with the intention to remove her the following day in order to look for where she would be nursed.
I did not burry the baby with an intent to kill her.
Confirming, the arrest of the suspect, the Spokesperson of Jigawa state police Command, SP Abdu Jinjiri, said the suspect was arrested after that mother discovered that the following morning her baby was missing saying, the mother raised alarm which led the police to swing into action.
He explained that after an investigation, the police arrested the former husband who was alleged to be the father of the controversial baby.
“Ashiru Abubakar, led the police to the shallow grave in the nearby bush in Janbiri village where he buried the baby alive. Fortunately, the police exhumed the baby alive.”

ChildCare: The Failed Motherhood

37years old mother of Little Precious Eromosele on Saturday abandoned her in a public taxi after returning from market
The mother of three identified as Mrs Cynthia Eromosele, a Nigerian citizen is under police custody for carelessness and child neglect.
Mrs Cynthia had gone shopping with her daughter at the popular Oyingbo market in PortHarcourt, Nigeria to purchase items for a social event the family is hosting.
After shopping, she hired a taxi to take her to her residence somewhere at Eleme. While in the taxi, she let her baby sleep on the taxi seat.
When she got home, she alighted to offload the goods she bought while her visiting in-laws took them inside.
She paid the driver and he zoomed off without realising that Little Precious was still at the back seat unnoticed.
The driver who was also unaware of the presence of the baby got to a police checkpoint where he was flagged down for stop and search.
Trying to explain to the policeman that he had passed a few minutes ago, the policeman saw little precious and the driver was nabbed immediately for child theft.
Every explanation to the policemen that the mother of the baby might have abandoned her in his taxi fell on deaf ears as the police insisted that he is a child thief.
Meanwhile, trouble already started at the home of Eromosele as heated accusations and counter accusations about the whereabout of Little Precious was alleged.
The mother insisted that after alighting from the vehicle, she handed over Precious to one of the guests who denied anything of such as she only carried the make up kits she bought.
The arguments nearly resulted to fisticuffs before it was suggested that the natter should be reported to the police.
The panic stricken couple arrived at the police station to find little precious and the driver of the taxi in police custody.
After every proofs of being parents of the baby, the police asked that the mother be locked up for child neglect till Monday when she will be handed over to the ministry of women affairs for discipline.
All pleas to allow the mother return home were turned down by the police who insisted that Mrs Eromosele was serve her punishment as a deterrent to other would be careless mothers.

To all mothers, never you get too busy and replace your motherly thoughts and care with other daily priorities.

In the Name of Love

It is said that blood is thicker than water. But definitely, not so with Mrs. Mary Nyikwase Kyokwagh, who had to bury alive his two-months-old son, Aondona, her only son for that matter, in an attempt to save her marriage. No fiction could be stranger than that. But this is no fiction. This is real.

The woman, an indigene of Kuji village in Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Nigeria is married to Mr. Kenneth Azo Kyokwagh, from Taraba State, Nigeria. Sources say he left his village in Taraba to settle in Yarawatter, a village settlement in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria that shares a common boundary with some villages in Nasarawa State.

Kyokwagh who spent years farming and fishing by way of subsistent living met Mary in a market square and hit it off immediately with her. The romantic relationship later led to marriage in February 2014. But they were to spend about four years without a child they could call their own though they loved each other. Unfortunately, the idea of medical test and solution never came up while the challenge lasted.

It was in the midst of this problem that Mary went to the market to sell fish, leaving her husband at home, sometime in October 2017. While there, Fulani herdsmen attacked the village and killed a lot of people, displacing the entire area including the market place. People ran helter skelter for their lives. The crisis escalated and lasted till 2018. In the process, husband and wife lost total contact with each other and had some difficulties reconnecting, despite spirited efforts.

In the meantime, the entire village, was razed to the ground by the marauding herdsmen. Mary, believing that her husband had been killed, like others were, found her way to Kardoko IDP camp in Nasarawa State. While there, she couldn’t cope with the emotional trauma that thoughts about her husband and the hard and difficult condition in the camp were causing her. In fact, hunger and lack of basic necessities of life were the order of the day in the camp.

It was in this condition that Dominic Akelegu, a Migili man by tribe, offered to assist her when he visited the camp. She obliged and left the camp to co-habit with him in his house, a rented apartment, in Lafia. When Kenneth Kyokwagh too could not trace his wife due to the constant attacks, he equally assumed that she had been killed. Lonely and distressed, he moved to Daudu IDP Camp in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State. While there, he also found out that he could not cope with the situation in the camp and decided along with other able-bodied young men to move to Lokoja, Kogi State, in search of greener pastures.

According to Mary, one thing led to another and, Dominic Akelegu, 40, her supposed magnanimous benefactor, started making love to her the moment she moved in with him. Barely two months later she became pregnant for him. Unfortunately, tragedy struck again as the man who is said to be an Okada rider in Lafia town died in fatal auto accident when her pregnancy was eight months and two weeks old. Before that time they had spent about 10 months together. But during this period, the idea of finding out Akelegu’s birthplace never crossed Mary’s mind. Neither did it occur to her to ask the man who accommodated and fed her.

In October 2018, she managed through the little savings he left behind for her and some financial assistance from neighbours to be delivered of a baby boy. But thereafter, life became tough for her and the newborn baby, as she could not cope with the difficulties of nursing him without his father. And to make a bad situation worse, she had nowhere to go as her own parents were killed in the attacks on farmers in Keana Local Government.

But as the crisis subsided, Kenneth Kyokwagh, who she originally presumed dead suddenly re-appeared in December 2018 to start rebuilding his destroyed house in order to continue with what was left of his life. Earlier this January, 2019, his wife whom he also assumed dead in the attacks, feeling the ever increasing heat of frustration that comes with taking care of the newborn baby boy in Lafia, without anybody to help, decided to return to her husband’s house in Tse-angom village near Yarwatter to start a new life with returning natives.

But to her greatest surprise, she met her husband alive and well. In fact, he has put one of the houses in order and was working on others. Naturally, the man was shocked to see his wife with a newborn baby – a baby he never knew anything about, of how she got it. For that, he vowed never to accept her under his roof, no matter what. His opposition to Mary to find somewhere to live with the child as he would, under no circumstance accept their living together really put her under great pressure, distress and confusion from which she did not know what else to do. In an effort to save her marriage since there is no other place to go, the woman decided to bury the boy alive while her husband was away in Lokoja to recover some of the debts being owed him by people he worked for. He returned from the one-week trip to discover to his horror and dismay that his wife had committed what seemed to him a greater atrocity by burying the baby boy alive.

Some journalist who visited the village, which is about 282 kilometres from Lafia had interactions with both the man and his wife over the devilish act. Shaking his head severally, Kenneth Kyolawagh clapped his hands together, looked into reporters’ eyes and said: “This world is really a wicked place. I can’t believe that this is happening to me. You can see that the village is very scanty. I don’t know the whereabouts of other members of this village. Half of them were killed by the herdsmen, without their corpses being recovered. And the manner the attacks came, my wife was not at home and I thought she was affected on her way back; some of us ran for our lives.

“I managed to escape by God’s grace. I completely believed she was killed like many others were. I found my way to Daudu and from there proceeded to Kogi State where most of our people were running to for greener pasture. I didn’t hear from her. My anger is that within a year-plus, it was comfortable for her to re-marry; it means she didn’t have me in mind. I am not ready to listen to her stories and how it happened. I can’t accept her with a baby of somebody whose blood I don’t know. It is not possible.”

Asked if he can really exonerate himself from the crime as his hard, unyielding stance seemed to have pushed his wife into committing the ungodly act, he replied: “I didn’t ask her to kill or bury the boy alive. I simply told her it will not be possible for us to stay together again with a baby not from me. I have suffered much in my life, especially in Kogi State which is why I returned despite the risk. I went back to recover my money from some people whom I worked for, only for me to come back and discover that she had done away with the boy to remain with me. I am speechless.”

With tears streaming down her cheeks, his wife said: “I thought he had died in the attacks. I didn’t know he is alive. I was frustrated and the man offered to help me out and suddenly started sleeping with me. He died eventually and my condition worsened at the time I thought I had gotten a safe landing. I had serious issues giving birth while I was with Mr. Kyokwagh. I didn’t know I would meet him here again because I concluded he had died. I didn’t hear from him and nobody seemed to know much about his whereabouts. Many villagers here died without their corpses recovered and I thought he was among them. Little did I know that he survived the attacks. He was not even ready to hear my explanation. Since he doesn’t like seeing the newborn boy, I decided to bury him alive so that he can accept me back. Since few weeks that I returned here, he doesn’t care about me and the baby simply because he is not the biological father. I decided to end his life in order to stay here. The biological father is late and I don’t know how to trace his birthplace.”

Asked if she regrets her action, she said that she would only do so if her husband fails to forgive her and accept her back. But what if, despite doing away with her baby, the man still insists she should find her way, what would she do? “I have nowhere to go,” she said with an emotion-laden voice. “My parents were wiped away in the herdsmen attacks. The father of the boy who should have been alive to take care of me is gone. So this is my challenge.”

Conclusively, what one finds amazing that some persons can do the impossible for love. In Nigeria here, a case of guilty but not charged.

Sad but Real: Blackmailed to Suicide

The founder of Asiwaju Royal Furniture in Ojo , Lagos , Michael Asiwaju , popularly known as Mike Cash, has taken his own life following several rape allegations against him .
City Round learnt that Asiwaju died at a hotel in Lagos .
He was said to have taken a poisonous substance suspected to be Sniper and was met lifeless in his hotel room around 12 am on January 13 , 2019 .
It was learnt that the father of one had checked into the hotel in the evening of the previous day.
Shortly before he committed suicide, he had expressed his intention via his Twitter handle , Asiwaju _limited , to end his life .
“ Goodbye I’ ll die soon . (I) am gone , ” he tweeted at 7 . 35pm on Saturday , January 12.
Asiwaju was prominent on the social media platform with about 24, 700 followers .
The post was the last of several tweets the deceased broadcast last Saturday , between 5 . 52pm and 7 . 35pm , in response to the allegations .
Last week , a Twitter user , @ thatgoddess , had called out Asiwaju , noting that she had information about how he raped a woman inside his car . She , however, said facts about the allegation were still sketchy.
Later on, she posted a chat history between her and an unnamed woman, who claimed to have been raped by the young businessman sometime in May 2017.
In the chat history, the woman alleged that Asiwaju lured her into a hotel in Festac and forcefully slept with her .
The woman’ s chat read in part, “ I don’ t want anyone linking me to this . He raped me . His full name is Michael Asiwaju . He owns a furniture company . He’ s also known as Mike Cash . He is mostly in Festac. He tried to lure me with money and gifts . He was asking me out and I refused . I was just fine being friends with him because he was a controlling person .
“ He said I’ m his girlfriend and I just laughed about it cos (because ) I never agreed to be his girlfriend . He always wanted me to come see him but I always refused . Then, he accused me of sleeping around with men. I ignored him and then he apologised . So he called me and said I should come hang out with him and his friends at the beach .
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“ So I thought it was okay to go see him since it was an open place and his friends were
gonna (going) be there. So when it was time to leave the beach , he was supposed to drop me off at Lekki Phase I ; then I ’ d get Uber to take me to my house . He also had to drop one of his friends at his hotel. So we were all in the car and then his friend dropped midway .
“ Mike said we had to go to his friend ’ s hotel to wait for him . I didn’ t even understand what was going on but I didn’ t mind
cos (because ) we were not alone . His cousin was there too . ”
The accuser stated that when they arrived at the hotel, she waited at the lobby instead of checking into a room with Asiwaju . She explained that his cousin drove out in Asiwaju ’ s car and promised to come back soon .
She continued , “ Mike kept telling me to go chill in the room instead of waiting at the lobby . He kept assuring me that I’ d be okay . So I went to the room ; (the ) biggest mistake of my life . I really trusted that
nigga.
“ I was alone for a while , then he came in and locked the door . I started to panic . He started touching me and all that. I told him I wasn’ t in the mood . So he said I was his girlfriend and he would have sex with me whether I was in the mood or not. I started to fight him and he became aggressive . ”
But while replying to the allegations last Saturday on his
Twitter page , @ Asiwaju _limited , the late businessman said the women accusing him of rape were actually his girlfriends who he met on social media platforms .
He posted pictures of two of the purported girlfriends, claiming that they had fun together sometime in 2017 at a club , where he spent N 500 , 000 .
Asiwaju alleged that his former business partner, one Blessing , was behind the blackmail .
He wrote, “ I (am ) here, I’ ll need to say my own side of the story. I know my former business partner sponsored this blackmail to destroy me
cos ( because) she ’ s contesting on the platform of All Progressives Congress .
“ You all claimed I raped you ? We met on the social media, I took you to a club , I spent N 500 , 000 popping Champaign
cos (because ) of you and we had sex when am (sic ) high and you call it rape ? In 2017 , you didn’ t report to the police . In 2018 , you didn’ t report to the police . In 2019 , you decided to blackmail me .
“ This two people (sic ) and Blessing should be held responsible if anything happens to me . You came to visit me cos (because ) you know I have money . We went to a club ; I bought drinks worth half a million naira ; we had sex inside my car you claimed I raped you just to tarnish my image .
“ We discussed sex before you came; all this happened in 2017 . None of you reported me to the police . In 2019 cos (because I) am supporting PDP and my bestie is contesting under APC, she sponsored this thread to destroy me . ”
Asiwaju stated further that the saga claimed the life of his ailing mother after she read the post online, adding that the blackmail had destroyed his family .
He wrote further , “This story made me lose my mum . Even when I called , I pleaded with these people to take down the post; that my mother just had (a ) heart surgery . Imagine if I wanna pay back but I won ’ t cos I won ’ t be available .
“ My advice for Nigeria girls ; when you meet a guy, you like him cos he is rich; you talk sex before meeting him ; don’ t call it rape when he sleeps with you .
“ What will you gain from this blackmail ? Imagine if I decided to come after you and your family ? But I won ’ t. Now that you have blackmailed and destroyed me , wetin u gain (What did you gain )? My mother is gone cos of this ; I can be gone too cos right now I’ m not myself anymore .
“ If you all want me to expose you , I still have your fucking nudes on my phone . Did I force you to send me nudes ? Do you really wanna (want to ) get exposed ?”
Enraged Asiwaju subsequently posted a nude picture of one of the girlfriends purportedly sent to him . He also uploaded an 11- second video clip, showing a faceless naked woman caressing him erotically.
He continued , “You sent me this (a picture exposing breast and private parts ) and we clubbed together; got high and you called me a rapist just to tarnish my image .
“ Someone DM this (another nude picture ) to me on Twitter ; why do you people want us to expose ourselves ? Plenty big
gals ( girls) on this platform send me nudes that they want me . When I sleep with them and stop talking to them , they blackmail me .
“ I don’ t care anymore . My mother is dead . I ’ ll expose all of you . Why will you destroy me when I told you my mother just had (a ) heart surgery ? Now she ’ s gone ; everyone is crying cos of your stupidity. Are you happy now ?
“ You claimed I raped you . Bring police report . You feel blackmail will destroy me . Today might be the last time I tweet or breathe . Before you blackmail someone, think about their mental health. Are you happy now for destroying Asiwaju ? Are you really happy Blessing ?”
Further showing signs of being suicidal, Asiwaju , a single father , said his son would not live a regrettable life as he had made enough money for him to live on when he (Asiwaju ) was no longer alive .
“ My mother is gone . What am I doing here? Let ’ s get dirty on social media ; stop calling me again to stop posting . Asiwaju raped you ; tell Nigerians what led us to sex. Don ’ t sugarcoat things to spoil my image.
“ I met her on Twitter. She sucked my ass ; she called me the richest guy she had ever met in her life and she ’ s among the people blackmailing me on Twitter. Imagine if I post her real face online. Goodbye I’ ll die soon . (I) am gone , ” he ended the tweets at 7 . 35pm .
While some commenters were curious to know the suicidal man ’ s location and how he fared afterwards , others cracked jokes about his woes. One of them asked for his original iPhone charger before he would execute his suicide plan , while another begged for N 100 , 000 .
Four days after the controversy played out, a police sources said that Asiwaju had actually killed himself at a hotel in Festac.
Although the time he arrived at the hotel could not be ascertained, it was gathered that his corpse was found in the room around 12 am last Sunday.
The source said , “He checked into the hotel with another name entirely. He wrote his name as Prince Moses . For now , no one knew why he used another name . It was later discovered that his face was the same as that of a young businessman prominent on Twitter. The suicide might not be unconnected with rape allegations against him in the social media. ”
When journalists visited the hotel on Thursday around 3 pm , he met with a receptionist who identified himself simply as John.
Reporters requested to speak to the manager, but John said she was busy and asked to know the purpose of the visit .
When John was ask about the suicide, he went back to inform the manager. About 20 minutes later , he returned and said the manager was still very busy.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos , CSP Chike Oti , confirmed the suicide . He said two bottles of Sniper was recovered from the incident scene .
He said , “We are investigating a possible case of suicide. We were alerted that a young man died in his hotel room and the Commissioner of Police was informed. He directed that the body should be evacuated and that a team of detectives comprising men from the forensic unit and men from the homicide section should investigate the matter .
“ The body was inspected and there was no visible mark of violence on the corpse . Two bottles of Sniper , which we reasonably believed he must have drunk , was recovered from the hotel room . One of the bottles had been emptied while the other one was still unopened. The man checked into the hotel with the name , Prince Moses. Preliminary investigation revealed that the man was the owner of a business known as Asiwaju Royal Furniture . ”