A young lady is bathed in acid by an unknown assailant on the streets of Lagos. Her sin – the audacity to consent to marry a man who already had a wife. It appears to be a classic case of hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. The story boils down to a woman’s alleged attempt to ensure she has no competition for her husband’s heart. Ogochukwu Nwosu underestimated the threats of her married lover’s wife, and literally got burnt in the process. What has bothered me the most in all of this is the reaction of many Nigerians to the issue.I have read plenty of reactions and comments to the situation, and even though I am aware that many commentators in virtual communities, particularly blogs and news sites have the tendency to react to issues emotionally as opposed to logically, I was still shocked at the sheer insensitivity and callousness many comments were steeped in.
So, a young woman dates and agrees to marry a married man, gets disfigured via an acid bath because someone is clearly displeased about the intending union, and eighty percent of the social media users who weigh in on the issue believe she deserved what she got. An alarming number of people have their verdict as – “Serves her right! Stupid gold digger who wanted to reap where she did not sow” In their opinion, the fate that befell Ogochukwu through her stubborn insistence to marry another woman’s husband would serve as a deterrent to other young ladies who are in the habit of dating married men.
I have read the sad story a couple times, and on different platforms, and the comments of Nigerians continue to shock me. When did we become so wicked? When did we get to the point where we can conveniently deaden our feeling of sympathy and empathy to a fellow human being’s plight? A 25-year old who still her whole future ahead lies in pain in a hospital bed as a result of the alleged wrath of a desperate woman, and all we can say is she got what was coming to her? When did the penance for attempting to marry an already married person equal an acid bath?
I know some of you are wondering if this writer is in support of Ogochukwu’s actions, or more aptly, intentions. Right now, you’re thinking – Why was she in a relationship with a married man in the first place? She brought this upon herself. Especially since she had been warned and threatened by his wife many times before the unfortunate incident happened. Why did she put herself at such risk? She should have known things weren’t going to end well, since Mrs Chidi had made it clear she had no intention of sharing her husband. But, I ask again, what kind of human being decides to maim the other over the affection of a mere mortal?
The reality we fail to come terms with is that every man has a free will. Even the creator of the world never compels us to worship or even acknowledge him, so why do we stubbornly hold onto the notion that we can impose our desires on another person. In this case, a full blown adult. We may not have all the facts of the case yet, but the part that isn’t shrouded in any form of secrecy is that Mr Chidi wanted to take a second wife. This invariably means he had no desire to be in an exclusive relationship with his wife anymore. Now, if Mrs Chidi was aware of her husband’s plan, and for some reason did not succeed in dissuading him from going ahead with the marriage plans, why would she believe she could convince a third party who has no allegiance to her to reject his proposal?
Unsurprisingly, the man at the center of the storm has barely gotten a mention, let alone be castigated by “social media judges” in particular for not handling the situation well. After all he it was who went after a young woman knowing fully well that he had a wife already. It would be difficult for him to claim he had no idea of the kind of woman he married (assuming she is responsible for the crime) and what she was capable of. If there’s anyone to be “crucified” for creating this whole mess, then it is the man who decided to jettison his wedding vows (If any), and by so doing pit two women against each other.
For the sake of clarity, Ogochukwu should have rejected a married man’s proposal. As far as I know, no woman wants to share her husband. She should have resisted the temptation that probably came in the guise of a caring man who could take care of her needs. She should have blocked Mr Chidi’s access to her by all means possible, particularly when she began to receive threats from his wife. Even if the man had a docile wife who was taciturn about their nuptial plans, she should have suspected things still weren’t going to end well one way or the other, except of of course she is lucky to be warmly received by her rival, which many will agree is a long shot.
Though no one can say for sure that Mrs Chidi masterminded the crime, if it is true that Ogochukwu’s brother has a recording of further threats from her after the dastardly act had been committed, then it makes it hard to sell her innocence. And assuming she actually initiated the attack, if she ends up getting considerable jail time for it, does that not mean a separation from the man she desperately tried to keep? What are the odds that her husband won’t go after another woman while she languishes in prison even if he is no longer interested in Ogochukwu? If the family miraculously recovers from this, will she continue to arrange an acid bath for any woman her man takes interest in? For how long can she sustain this?
The sooner we realise and accept that no one can compel anyone to love them or be with them exclusively, the sooner we’ll begin to experience peace in our relationships. This goes for the womenfolk especially. It’s been said many times, but I’ll reiterate it again, a man who truly loves you will never put you in a position to fight for him. It really is that simple.
Nevertheless, anyone who believes that this young lady deserves to be maimed and traumatized because of something as fickle as a man’s affection should be worried about the kind of heart they possess. That’s if there’s anything called a heart somewhere behind that rib cage of theirs.