Thursday, December 10, 2020 7:47 am
By Wale Olayanju
“Smart, I know you are
very smart, but I beg you
in the name of God, don’t
be smart in beating your
wife. Don’t be smart in
cheating on her.
“Rather, I want you to be
smart in taking good
care of her, in honouring
her and in pampering
her. And God will bless
The above is the highlight of the sermon delivered at the wedding ceremony of Mr & Mrs Smart and Yemisi Adeyemi in April 1992.
Adeyemi, now a senator representing Kogi West constituency, was a presenter with NTA Ilorin. Aunty Yemisi, now of blessed memory, was also working with the broadcasting house as a newscaster.
Both of them were popular and household names in Ilorin then. This is because NTA Ilorin was then the only television station in Kwara and Kogi States.
When the ceremony was later shown on the TV station, the sermon became the talking point for months.
Now, I wouldn’t know if Smart is indeed “smart”. However, if one studies how he leveraged on his position at the Nigerian Union of Journalists to become a Senator, one will be right to say that the name is not a mismatch. He completed his tenure as NUJ President in 2006 and became a senator the following year.
Many times, a person’s name holds special meaning. Little wonders parents go to any length when chosen names for their children.
In the Biblical times, names were even more intentional, often saying something about that person’s character or their situation. Reading through the Bible, one could see how accurate names of people matched their personalities or mission in life.
There are accounts in the Bible where God changed some people’s name for a purpose or new mission.
Abram became Abraham. Sarai was changed to Sarah. Jacob turned to Israel. Saul became Paul and Simon was called Cephas (which means Peter).
In Nigeria, it is not uncommon to see people change their ancestral names to identify with their new found faiths. So, names with prefixes like Ogun, Sango and Ifa get changed to Oluwa, Olu, Jesu etc
There was a time Goodluck was the reigning name for newborn babies. This is because of President Goodluck Jonathan, who is seen as the luckiest politicians Nigeria has ever produced. Jonathan became a Governor and later a President without contesting for any elective post as the standard bearer. To some people, his name brought him the fortunes.
One person who was not carried away by this belief was Juliet, the female protagonist in Williams Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet.
While arguing that it does not matter that Romeo is from her family’s rival house of Montague, she had declared:
“Call a rose something else, it still smells good. If Romeo had a new name, he’d still be just as perfect.”
To Juliet, a thing is good if it’s good, not because it has a good name attached to it. In other words, the name of a thing does not matter as much as the quality of the thing.
Perhaps, she was right when one considers the the story of Mr. Pius Angbo, a reporter with Channels TV.
Yesterday Angbo’s wife, Dr. (Mrs) Ifeyinwa Angbo called him out over his long history of beating her up in their six years old marriage.
In the video that has since gone viral, Dr Angbo, showed her battered face as she described her husband as a wife batterer, abuser, attempted murderer, adulterer and a spendthrift.
In the over two minutes video, she cried to the public for help over alleged repeated assault, adding that he often assaulted her over ‘petty’ arguments at home. Continuing she said, the latest assault was a result of her advice to him to stop spending lavishly on ladies and cater for his four children.
If all these allegations are true, these should not be the characteristics of a man that was named Pius.
According to babynamespedia, Pius is an English and German name of Latin origin. It is a biblical name that is derived literally from the word ‘pius’ which means pious, godly, honorable.
The name was borne by at least twelve popes, and is often associated with the papacy.
The management of Channels Television, employers of Angbo has said the company will look into the allegation and carry out necessary disciplinary action.
The media outfit added it does not condone violence against women or anyone in general.
Later in the day, there was a report that the governor of Benue State (Pius’ home state) Mr. Samuel Ortom, has reconciled Angbo, with his wife, Ifeyinwa.
Ortom and some of his cabinet members counselled the couple and enjoined them to embrace peace in their home.
While the effort of Mr. Governor must be commended, I think this matter must not be seen as a normal domestic conflict between a man and his wife. What they have done is in the right direction but other measures should be put in place to avert a potential “story-that-touches”
Normal conflict is part of every intimate relationship and it is usually resolved by conflict resolution However, what we witnessing is a clear case of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a delicate issue. It has no place in a healthy relationship. So, when it happens, we must not try to resolve it the wrong way. We must avoid any effort to force a solution on any or both of the parties. Abuse of six years takes a long time to heal. That is why I feel a measure must be put in place to get to the room of the matter and deal with it.
Violence against women in any form whether physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal is never justified. It is sinful and a violation of fundamental human rights, which the Nigerian Constitution is against.
In the video, the wife revealed that before they got married, she stumbled on a paper where her husband wrote a prayer that “thank God for saving me from hatred and abuse of women.”
Obviously, she has an abusive husband.
According to studies, abusive men often share some common characteristics. They tend to be jealous, possessive and easily angered.
Many abusive men believe that women are inferior. They believe that men are meant to dominate and control them.
Here was a man who is blessed with a medical doctor as a wife. How are we sure he’s not even jealous of his wife. Yes, some men do!
Like I wrote yesterday, some women stay in an abusive relationship because of fear.
Some believe that the abuse is their fault and therefore they can stop the abuse if they just act differently and be submissive. In the process they lose their self confidence and inferiority complex gradually sets it.
The wife also alleged her husband womanizes. Can anyone vouch he is not also into alcohol and drug use These three often walk together and are often associated with domestic violence.
That is why I think the guy needs to go for therapy. He may start by going for psychiatric evaluation. An abusive man who drinks or uses drugs has many issues to deal with and a 4-hours peptalk can not treat them all
No one should be forced to stay in an abusive relationship. As a matter of fact, no person is expected to stay in an abusive marriage.
Our religion houses also have a role to play in addressing this malady. The teachings on the permanence of marriage should be restructured Women in abusive marriages should be encouraged to seek a separation or divorce
The abuser has already broken the marriage covenant through his or her abusive behavior.
Violence and abuse, not divorce, break up a marriage.