Last week, a video attempted to go viral on social media.
A woman was seen in it, wailing and lamenting about something and at first, she almost had me. Dressed all in black, she complained bitterly about someone who had “abducted” her children.
Not someone, policemen.
Her story, policemen had come to her house in a van and had forcefully removed her children. She did not know who they were or why they took her children, but they had put her “confused and scared children” into the van and driven off with them.
Brandishing the children’s International passports and pictures, she made what should have been a passionate appeal to people to help her intervene and ask the Nigerian Police Force why they needed to abduct her children, etc.
Unfortunately for her, some of us have been bitten by the bug of cynicism.
Just as my heart was beginning to melt a la “oh, she is a woman feeling the pains of forceful separation from her children”, the weenshi part of me which is actually the logical and rational Viola, asked the emotional Viola one simple question:
Her children were “abducted” right? Not killed. So why is she dressed all in black? As in from head to toe, black on black.
And the “drama” alarm went off.
People only go into full mourning mode when they had achieved closure on events like abductions. People have been known to keep hope alive for decades after their loved ones were taken from them in inexplicable circumstances.
Yet here was someone who less than a week of her children being taken away from her, was already in full mourning regalia.
Then the second alarm went off when she tried to involve our friends, the Nigerian police, in the abduction of minors.
I mean, think about it. Olopa na our friend dem be naaaa, and we know what our friends are capable of.
Accuse them now of mounting illegal roadblocks, collecting roger, accidental discharge, collecting money for bail while standing under a sign post that screams “bail is free”, offing their police uniform and escaping in their boxers in the thick of a riot, looking the other way while you are robbed or lynched, and…
I will not want to come and say one thing now and my oga at the top will come and say another, but I am sure you all know what I mean.
But abduction of children? Nah. As soon as she got to that bit, I needed two questions answered to join her in the wailing party…
- Is there a custody battle going on anywhere? Are you flouting a court order that has anything to do with custody?
- Where is your co conspirator in the creation of the missing children? If he wasn’t beside you, was he on the other side of the line?
If these questions were answered, then we would be one step closer to unraveling the mystery behind the “abduction”.
Surprise surprise, less than a day after the video had made the internet waves, her estranged husband and co conspirator in the production of the unfortunate victims in this entire saga – the children – popped up with his own side of the story.
Long story short, there was a custody battle. Custody had been awarded to the husband five years ago. Madam had been making a circuit of the courts appealing the custody. In the interim, she had refused his offer to pay the children’s school fees and pick up some of their bills EXCEPT she be given cash to handle them as she pleases. At some point, rather than have her husband pay directly to the school, she had withdrawn the children for a whole year from school, etc…
Eventually and out of desperation, the man had returned to the courts, to enforce custody.
And here we were, watching a woman who witnessed a court ordered custody enforcement that had the custodial parent in attendance, make a video, wailing that she did not know why our very good friends, the Nigerian police, would abduct her children.
We would have forgiven her anything else but trying to slander our very very good friends, the Nigerian police? Mba nụ. We must defend the honor of our friends na, ọkwa ya?
Seriously though, who does that? Make a video that calls your mental stability, acumen and ability to supervise minors to question, when you are embroiled in a custody battle for minors?
Less emotion, more logic and we would get this equality we so desperately seek, faster than we think.
But this brings me to the point I have been struggling to make all day:
You see men ehn, they are human beings too. They also cry, they experience abuse at the hands of adults, employers, their spouse, etc.
We can’t claim to be agitating for equality, when we deny others the right to a fair hearing. When we think that men are automatic aggressors simply because they draw breath, that is totally crazy.
I have seen a man I know, suffer abuse at the hands of his girlfriend. He was a gentle giant, she was a pint sized jalapeño. Small thing, she would slap, kick, punch and throw things around and then collapse in tears.
By the time people came to find out what the root cause of the issues were, they would see this poor “helpless” looking lady in tears, and a confused looking giant desperately searching for words to exonerate himself.
Everybody found him guilty.
No one would believe he was the one being abused.
Those of us in the know desperately prayed he wouldn’t marry her. We drank extra Coca-Cola to celebrate when we caught up with him some years later and discovered he dumped her when he saw that she would get him lynched one day, just for being a man and looking physically able to throttle a woman.
My sisthren, men also cry.
They are humans like us.
We women, we know ourselves sha. We know that we are not always angelic beings who do nothing and yet get beat up and abused for it. We can find trouble and sometimes, the beneficiary of our trouble ignores us in order for peace to reign, but asking for the other side of the story is not a crime.
Suspending belief until you have heard the other side is not playing to the gallery, it is called fairness.
It is refusing to be blackmailed or suckered into believing that once a man is involved in any matter, then he is guilty.
My sisthren, men also cry.
And I think it would not be too out of place to advise women who find themselves in the middle of a custody battle, to stay as far away from video cameras as possible. Avoid make up artists, the type that would make a woman look like a man or something like that (ayyam sure you know worraimean). Avoid them. They are enemies of progress. Keep your sudden discovery of Christianity and born againism to yourself and your God. Kabbash in private. Don’t pray for us, don’t advice us, don’t prophesy into our lives, worry only about yourself for now. We, we will be fine. Stay away from drama.
Because a man can not be in court trying to prove you are an unstable human being and should not be in custody of minors, and you would be on social media providing more ammunition for his weapons of warfare.
Sisthren, be wise.
Matter of fact my candid advice would be that if you are in the midst of a separation/divorce, and you know custody would be involved, switch off all your social media accounts.
Retreat, reflect and refresh.
Ending a marriage is never easy, drama does not make it any easier. If anything, drama makes it more traumatic and if you are not a Kardashian, then there is absolutely no need for free drama.
Retreat, reflect and refresh.
If there are no kids involved, then ensure that whatever you do, you are looking out for number one – you.
If there are kids involved, then keep your anger and bitterness in check, and take decisions that favor the physical, psychological and emotional well being of the kids.
Whatever you do, just “live” our friends the Nigerian police “a loan” . If not, wee wee fight you.