By Ozodinukwe Okenwa
The popular gospel singer and minister, Osinachi Nwachukwu, died recently in Abuja following alleged domestic violence. Sister Osinachi whose hit song, ‘Ekwueme’, made melodic headlines around the christian world died untimely at 42 as a direct or indirect result of the bestiality and brutality of the husband. Osinachi died a sad agonizing death after suffering bouts of domestic conjugal abuse and violence for years. She was a lead singer at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre.
Peter Nwachukwu remains a beast of a man who never appreciated the fact that his late wife was a wonderful musical ministration talent, a rare gift to humanity. Or how better do we describe a primitive narcissist whose misogyny represents what many women experience in marital unions in Biafraland in particular and Nigeria in general? Peter, the glorified murderer, had since been arrested and interrogated following petitions from Osinachi’s family and friends.
The man was said to have been married to another woman prior to encountering Osinachi and marrying her without her knowledge! The man is equally said to be her ruthless Manager. He must have elected to marry Osinachi because he saw in her a cash cow worth milking! And he milked her until she kicked the bucket unfortunately!
Those she confided in before her demise had given accounts of how household was a living hell for her. The husband would kick and slap and beat her. He was playing god in her life, sometimes single-handedly annulling her booked concerts or appearances on stage.
It is absolutely incomprehensible how a responsible mother and wife could be subjected to conjugal cruelty to the extent that she had to kick the bucket as a direct or indirect result of this exhibition of animalistic wickedness.
Reports had it that Osinachi suffered enormously while trying to keep her marriage. She was subjected to inhuman treatment by her husband. Credible accounts from different quarters indicated a wicked pattern of humiliation and savagery for years. Even sometimes these abuses occurred in the presence of their children who often partook in the abominable mistreatment.
Now, beyond her sad demise what comes to mind is the marriage culture and inconveniences in Igboland. Since divorce is rare and frowned at many women endure years of abuse and dehumanization in the hands of their ignorant husbands.
Igbos are predominantly Christians but there is a whole lot of hypocrisy and loathsomeness among its people. Divorce is seen generally as a failure and it seldom happens even in complicated situations.
Many women (and even men) are content pretending that all is well in their marriages when the very opposite is the case. It is not isolated a case seeing couples who go about their businesses without exchanging greetings or pleasantries in the morning before departure from home! Sometimes men of God or family members are called upon to intervene but their intervention could end up bringing more acrimonious hardening of positions.
The major problem confronting the average Igbo man or woman is that marriage remains a sacrosanct social culture for generations. And society imposes certain servile encumbrances to its mutual existence or dissolution. Worse still, true love is hardly any factor featuring seriously before marriages happen.
Take for example. A so-called ‘big boy’ goes to Europe or America and hits a sudden fortune through drug trafficking or digital fraud and upon his triumphant return back home ‘loaded’ many girls would swoop around him in search of ‘Mr right’ just because of his money! Besides, you find that with money an illiterate could go for a graduate wife!
Seeing these marriage ‘candidates’, some virgin, parading themselves before him the guy from abroad could decide or be tempted to ‘taste’ enough sexual pudding out of the lot before settling for the one that appeals more to his sexual or romantic taste while dumping others.
In this kind of ‘competition’ for marriage all is fair and fine. No moral question is asked and none answered. Remaining a spinster for so long in the South-east could be a source of emotional sorrow or burden. You could be a butt of jokes in the village and during altercations your inability to be under the roof of a man could come up drawing parallels with bad character or ugliness.
Sometimes courtship hardly happens before the consecration of the marriage. What interests the girl and her mother or father is his bank accounts, the big house built by the future husband or the luxurious car he rides in. What follows is flashy traditional marriage and modern (christian) wedding.
In many homes around the country a lot of women are currently experiencing what led to sister Osinachi’s brutal end. They are afraid to quit, fearful of what the larger society would say in the event of divorce or separation.
Among the major ethnic groups that make up Nigeria the Igbos pride themselves as a formidable people with great culture and entrepreneurial spirit. The are rich, organized and mobile. Again, among the ethnic groups in Nigeria marriage in Biafraland remains the most expensive from time immemorial.
Yet the high cost of marriage, instead of making conjugal homes safer or better, makes them living hell becoming practically impossible for many folks to get hooked up with girls of their amorous choice. You can see a girl fresh off university ‘hustling’ to marry a semi-illiterate moneybag!
In a nation where the President, Muhammadu Buhari, could afford to declare in far away Germany that the place of his wife, the First Lady, was in the kitchen and ‘the other room’ (whatever that meant) people are emboldened to maltreat women or visit violence on them.
We hold, in the final analysis, that Peter Nwachukwu (or Nwaekwensu) stands accused as the killer of sister Osinachi. Justice must be made to prevail in this despicable abominable matter. He must be brought before justice and tried and if found guilty jailed to serve as a deterrent to other brutes and ignorant idiots visiting their frustrations on innocent women.
Enough must be said to be enough! We grieve for Osinachi, the ‘Ekwueme’ gospel exponent gone home too soon! May Jehovah accept her in His bosom!