Front page of “Saturday Tribune” newspaper of September 16, 2023. Headline: “After 51 years of marriage, man accuses wife of fighting him with knife, seeks divorce”
“A man, Ojo Olaoye, has pleaded with Grade A Customary Court, Oja Oba, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State to dissolve his 51-year-old marriage to his wife, Janet Olaoye, on the accounts of stubbornness, constant fight, violence and threat to his life.
Ojo in his divorce suit stated that he knew no peace since he got married to Janet after snatching her from another man. The plaintiff explained that the defendant was defiant and always flouted his orders at all times.
He added that they fought on regular basis because she was not submissive, but chose to rub shoulders with him in the home. According to him, they both had a misunderstanding a few days before she packed out of his house and that she drew a knife at him.
Ojo also stated that Janet was in the habit of pulling his trousers and dragging him when fighting him. He added that she would sometimes grab his manhood and would not release him until neighbours came to his rescue.
The plaintiff told the court that the defendant thwarted his destiny and that of their children by raining curses on them on regular basis. Ojo in addition said Janet was a busy body who went from house to house spreading tales of happenings in their community and likewise divulging secrets in her family.
He told the court that he got his wife arrested and detained by the police the last time she came to his house after she had walked out of their marriage. Ojo said that Janet complained and quarrelled with him throughout the night and therefore denied him a peaceful night rest.
The plaintiff stated that the defendant has pushed him to the wall and that he wanted a clean cut from her. He, therefore, pleaded with the court to stop her from coming to his house to fight him.
He also appealed to the court to restrain her from harassing or threatening him. Janet while interjecting, denied all the allegations brought against her and also refused that their marriage be dissolved.
Ojo in his testimony said, “My wife was once married before she moved in with me.
“We did not hold any marital rite before she moved in with me, neither did I pay her bride price.
“We have been married for 51 years and our union is blessed with children.
“I regret ever professing love to my wife. The journey in our marriage has brought for me more pains than joy. Janet is an evil wind that blows no one no good.
“My wife is stubborn and defiant in nature.
“I knew no peace for the decades we lived together because she had no respect for me nor place value on our relationship.
“Janet constantly rubbed shoulders me with in the home and refused to listen to my counsel. She flouted my orders at will.
“Janet is quarellsome and was in the habit of fighting me with dangerous objects.
“She would flare up when angry, grab my trousers and pull me with it all over our apartment.
“Not yet satisfied, she would sometimes grab and pull my manhood, leaving me screaming.
“My wife would refuse to let go until our neighbours rushed in at my cry.
“My wife would wake up early in the day raining curses on me and our children.
“She thwarted my destiny and that of our children with her tongue.
“Janet gave herself a bad name in our neighbourhood before she finally moved to her own house.
“She was a busybody and always went from house to house spreading falsehood.
“Our home was not spared. She opened our family to ridicule as she regularly divulged the family’s secrets to outsiders.
“A few days before she moved out of my house to hers, she fought me nonstop.
“Janet later went for a knife and would have killed me, but for the timely intervention of those around.
“I started enjoying perfect peace in the home after she moved out, but this was interrupted after she called and requested to spend a few nights at my place.
“I agreed on the condition that she maintained peace throughout her stay.
“She agreed and came.
“My lord, hell was let loose the first night my wife spent with me.
“She complained about everything and dug up old issues.
“She wore me out that night and we ended up fighting.
“I got her arrested and detained by the police the following morning.
“My lord, I came to court to avoid sudden death as a result of my wife’s troublesome nature.
“Janet has embarrassed me enough and I want her totally out of my life.
“I pray this honourable court to pronounce our marriage dissolved so that we can go our different ways.
“I again plead that the court restrains her from coming to my house to harassing or threaten me.
The court president, Mrs S.M Akintayo, adjourned the case for further hearing for the wife to state her own case.”
(i) Front page of “Tribune” newspaper of September 16, 2023. Headline: “Things are expensive but I will lose customers if I increase my prices”
“Twenty-nine-year-old Nasiru Aliyu hails from a village in Sokoto State. To him, the only evidence that there are still governments in the country is the cruel economic policies churned out to strangle and suffocate the common man.
“I have nothing to do with the government. There is nothing they can do for me. If they were serious about helping petty traders like me, they would have set up veritable, tangible avenues to do so, but in this country, it is ‘fight for yourself’ and as you can see, I’m fighting for myself,” he declared emphatically, pointing to his wares and tools as his only hope of survival.
He denounced the greed and avarice of Nigerian leaders whom, he said, derived joy and happiness in seeing the masses wallow in squalor while they ride on the wings of corruption, confiscating the common patrimony of the entire populace.
“The only thing they (governments) know how to do is to make cruel policies that will leave the poor gasping for breath. I believe that no matter how choking these policies are, the poor will not die. We, the poor masses will live,” Nasiru assured, nodding his head in defiance.
He’d have nothing to do with Nigeria as a country, neither. For him, the country is tottering near the precipice and should not be taken seriously let alone hoping for a better day. It’s a case of every man to himself, God for all.
“I have no business with this country, whatever the leaders feel like doing, they should do, but I know that no matter how bad it is, the poor will still survive,” he reiterated.
Having left Sokoto for Akwa Ibom State seven years ago, Aliyu told our correspondent how he was forced to start fending for himself and his family at a very tender age – a situation that denied him of education beyond the basic level. Conversing in mixed pidgin, he said he had to delve into shoe-mending craft and jewelry business as his means of survival. He’s not an itinerant shoe-mender, but stationed under a shade by the roadside.
Hear him: “My parents are still alive and I have four siblings. I sell jewelry and I repair shoes. My first trade was shoemaking, but I had to look for something to add to it so that no matter how it was, I would be getting money from both sides. I left Sokoto for Akwa Ibom to hustle.
“However, this was not the business I was doing in Sokoto before I came here. I am a farmer. I have a farm in my home state which I go to check on every December.
“I have people taking care of it for me. But terrorists are giving us serious headaches. They often confiscate our harvest and subject us to paying tax if we must continue to farm.
“Amid all these, we farmers still manage to keep up with our farming even though it has not been easy.
“I started shoe-mending and jewelry business seven years ago when I left Sokoto.”
Aliyu is tall, dark and good-looking with a great sense of humour. He is the third of five children; his parents are still alive and in the village in Sokoto State. He’s their breadwinner. At 29, he’s refused to marry until, according to him, he makes it big as he’s not ready to raise children in penury. Having a girlfriend, he added, was also out of the equation. In fact, he wouldn’t divulge the address of his residence to a lady among the three customers who came to drop their shoes for repair during his interaction with our correspondent.
“I am not married and I don’t have any children yet because I am not ready to settle down. I want to make enough money before getting married because I don’t want my family to suffer.
“I am also saving money to open a big shop where I can sell footwear and jewelry at a larger scale. I did not finish secondary school. I only have a primary six certificate,” the Hausa man disclosed.
How does he view life in a Niger Delta state like Akwa Ibom? How did he come about shoe-mending as a vocation? Aliyu has some positives about Uyo and his business.
“This state is very peaceful and I have not regretted coming here. Sometimes, I make up to N10,000 in a day or within two or three days. I did not learn the craft of mending shoes. I’m not even sure it is something one has to pay money to learn because, just by observing someone doing it, you can do it,” he averred.
The young man, in his bluntness, bore his mind on the recent hike in fuel price which has negatively affected the common man. According to him, some business ingenuity is necessary to break even in the current economic tragedies.
“The increase in transportation cost is affecting my business because as a trader when buying goods, you are expected to add your transportation to what you are selling as that will determine how much you are going to sell.
“If the materials I use in repairing shoes have increased, for instance, the sewing thread that was formerly sold for N1000 before, has increased to N2000. If I was making N1000 from buying the thread at that rate, you can now see that I make up to nothing with the new rate. I can’t just be idle that is why I’m still running this business and not that it is still profitable.
“I can’t even increase the amount I charge for my services; if I do, I won’t have customers. Like it or not, it is the N50 and N100 I make from repairing shoes that I use to support this jewelry business.”