Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nigeria’s Dangerous 2015 Elections: Limiting the Violence

By International Crisis Group 

Africa Report N°220

21 November 2014
Nigeria’s presidential, parliamentary and state gubernatorial and assembly elections, scheduled for February 2015, will be more contentious than usual. Tensions within and between the two major political parties, competing claims to the presidency between northern and Niger Delta politicians and along religious lines, the grim radical Islamist Boko Haram insurgency and increasing communal violence in several northern states, along with inadequate preparations by the electoral commission and apparent bias by security agencies, suggest the country is heading toward a very volatile and vicious electoral contest. If this violent trend continues, and particularly if the vote is close, marred or followed by widespread violence, it would deepen Nigeria’s already grave security and governance crises. The government, its agencies and all other national figures must work urgently to ensure that the vote is not conducted in an explosive situation as this could further destabilise the country.

President Jonathan with Vice-President Sambo 
and PDP Chairman, Muazu
Nigerian elections are traditionally fiercely contested, but in 2015, risks of violence are particularly high. This will be the first nationwide contest essentially between two parties – the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) – since the return to civilian rule in 1999. While a genuine contest is a welcome sign of progress for Nigeria’s democracy (thanks to the emergence last year of the APC, a merger of the four largest opposition parties), increasingly acrimonious relations between the two parties could engender even fiercer clashes among their supporters once campaigning formally starts in December.
Factional feuds within both parties could degenerate into violence during their national and state primaries. Competing claims to the presidency, between northern leaders and their Niger Delta counterparts, could also result in violence in either or both regions, particularly after the polls. As in 2011, clashes could erupt in some northern states if the APC, whose frontrunners are all northerners, loses the polls; there is similarly a high risk of violence if the PDP loses the presidency, particularly in the Niger Delta, home region of the party’s candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Boko Haram insurgency and the state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe could prevent voting in parts of those north-eastern states. If this occurs, the opposition APC, which has large following in those (and other northern) states, could lose a significant number of votes, reject the presidential polls’ outcome and question the elected government’s legitimacy. An election not held in all states may also fall short of the constitutional requirements for electing a president, namely that the winner score 25 per cent of the votes in two-thirds of the 36 states, thereby raising serious legal disputes. Equally worrying are the increasing availability of firearms, the rise in communal violence across several northern states since 2013 and deepening criminality in the Niger Delta.

President Jonathan with APC leader, Tinubu
Deficiencies in electoral preparations are also compounding the risks of violence. Proposed amendments to the 2010 Electoral Act, including provisions for establishment of an election offences tribunal, which were intended to prevent or punish electoral offences including violence, remain stuck in the National Assembly (federal parliament). There is no certainty they will be passed in time to have meaningful impact on the polls.
Repeated assurances by the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, that the polls will be an improvement on the past, are not entirely supported by realities on ground. There are growing fears that INEC may not be able to produce an updated and credible voter register before the polls. The commission’s decision to create 30,000 new polling units, mostly in northern states, was widely rejected by southern leaders and groups who feared Jega, a northerner, was handing his home region an electoral advantage. INEC’s decision to put the new polling units on hold has not entirely dispelled southern misgivings. Amid such lack of confidence, an election conducted with an incomplete voter register will certainly be disputed.
Actions by the police and other security services, all controlled by the federal government, could also aggravate tensions around the polls and undermine the credibility of their outcomes. The conduct of some senior police officers, notably in Rivers state, has raised fears that the agency could be manipulated to serve the PDP’s interests. Similarly, some actions and pronouncements by the Department of State Security (DSS) – Nigeria’s main domestic intelligence agency – have raised concerns about institutional bias. If these agencies act or are perceived to act in a partisan manner, they could undermine free and fair polls and heighten the risks of violence, particularly after the vote.

The face of terror in Nigeria 
With only three months before elections, the government cannot engage in long-term structural efforts to improve the quality of the vote, but it can and must be encouraged to urgently take several steps to limit the risk of widespread violence. These include increasing efforts to contain the Boko Haram insurgency, paying special attention to the police to improve the security environment, reinforcing the capacities of the INEC to restore confidence in the electoral process, and along with all politicians, avoid playing the religious card and reducing tensions within and between the parties. The government – President Goodluck Jonathan, the federal legislature, INEC and security agencies – must bear the greatest responsibility for implementing these measures, but other national and political figures, including civil society, as well as international partners must also rally to stop the slide.

To the government of President Goodluck Jonathan:
1.  Step up efforts to contain the conflict in the north east and ensure elections are held in all states, particularly by strengthening security services, improving coordination with state governments and implementing regional security arrangements in concert with neighbouring countries.
2.  Direct publicly the heads of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to act lawfully and impartially with all parties and individuals participating in the elections.
To the president, major political parties and their candidates:
3.  Avoid inflammatory rhetoric, publicly denounce violence, pledge to respect rules, in particular the Code of Conduct for Political Parties, and pursue grievances through lawful channels.
4.  Respect party constitutions and particularly allow democratic candidate selections.


To leaders of regional, ethnic and religious groups:
5.  Organise national, regional, ethnic and inter-faith public forums to jointly and publicly commit to non-violence, and establish channels of communication and contingency plans to respond to large-scale communal violence.
To the National Assembly:
6.  Ensure speedy passage of the amended Electoral Act.
7.  Approve urgently supplementary funds for INEC to meet its logistical requirements.
To the Independent National Electoral Commission:
8.  Intensify efforts to build relations with all parties, particularly opposition parties, including holding constant consultations to discuss and explain major decisions, sparing no effort in trying to increase confidence and ensuring transparent relations with all parties, individuals and civil society.
To the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies:
9.  Improve security arrangements for the elections by training more personnel for election duties and strengthening capacity to gather information, monitor developments and analyse threats; strengthen ongoing efforts to curb the influx and availability of illegal arms particularly in violence-prone areas; and ensure the newly established Elections Security Planning and Monitoring Unit is well resourced, firmly led and instructed on international best practices.
10.  Direct publicly all officers to ensure neutrality in relations with all parties and apply exemplary sanctions against any officer who fails to comply.
To civil society organisations and mass media:
11.  Engage more actively with youth leaders especially in poor urban and rural areas, strengthen participatory early warning and early response systems, and raise timely alerts of possible violence.
12.  Ensure factual and balanced reporting of all election-related developments, and avoid publishing hateful, divisive and inflammatory statements.
To the UN, EU and other international partners:
13.  Sustain ongoing capacity building programs for major institutions involved in the elections, particularly INEC and the police, and increase technical and financial support to relevant civil society organisations.
14.  Deploy observer missions for longer periods before and after the votes to monitor the process more comprehensively.
15.  Create a common donor forum for collectively messaging and pressuring President Jonathan, political parties and their candidates, security agencies and all other stakeholders to act lawfully and prevent or mitigate violence.
Dakar/Abuja/Brussels, 21 November 2014

SOURCE: International Crisis Group 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Gettysburg Address: Abraham Lincoln Rebukes Us From The Grave

By Banji Ojewale
Wednesday November 19, 2014 marked the 151st  anniversary of the delivery of the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln, the President of the US at the time of the American Civil War in the 19th Century. Lincoln delivered the speech to commemorate the gruesome Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania and to dedicate a national cemetery for slain soldiers.

*Abraham Lincoln: 16th President of 
the United States  (pix:planetfigure) 

It was a brief oration that lasted only a few minutes. The Lincoln presentation 272 words – appeared to pale next to that of a well known national orator Professor Edward Everett whose speech, running into nearly two hours, came ahead of the president’s.
The crowd gave Lincoln what an observer described as a “perfunctory applause”. It was a euphemism for unstated rejection of the speech! But the professional Everett instantly noticed the landing of a new benchmark for oratorical discipline and ingenuity. “My speech will soon be forgotten,”  he told Lincoln. “Yours will never be. How gladly would I exchange my hundred pages for your twenty lines”.

It has turned out prophetically true. For through the ages down to our day what started as a mere community speech has since broken the barriers of colour and the culture language to become a timeless piece of prose better appreciated for its nobility and poetry.
More awe is summoned when we realize that Lincoln gave the address from a grieving soul. There was the stark reality of sorrow inflicted by war. And in this case the Battle of Gettysburg was recorded to have been one of the bloodiest of the civil war.
7000 were killed and 44000 were wounded or missing. Historians claim that the Gettysburg battle was the turning point  indeed of the war.

Somehow Lincoln, a man forged out of a cauldron of defeats, disappointments and dejection, drew appropriate lessons from the desolation around him. He recognised for instance that man can only manage calamity (or what seems so) not by pandering to it or reproducing more visions of such dreary conditions.
It wasn’t a time for a long sermonizing speech, nor was it a moment to shun talk altogether. 


He needed to face  the locals and comfort the bereaved families of Gettysburg and turn individual and collective losses into first, a national hope and then a universal legacy.
The Gettysburg Address achieved precisely these. How did Lincoln succeed? The literary technique, gained from diligent study and history, performed the main magic. He avoided overly lugubrious epithets. He never interjected the speech with any personal connections. Where he came to that point, the speaker adopted the use of the majestic yet humble “we”, “us” or “our”.

He won the hearts of the mourners and the nation when he cautioned that although he and the others had gathered to honour the dead. “ In a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground.”  Lincoln added: “ The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it , far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, or long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated more to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.” Great, noble thoughts and vision captured in equally sublime prose! Lincoln ended the day a fulfilled man: he had used powerful language and personal discipline to soothe the souls of the bruised, disconsolate citizens.

He had also proved that when a nation is passing though dreary moments, it could be succoured by leaders that take time to make statements that transform the situation into hopeful vision.

Only leaders and statesmen of Spartan dispositions unencumbered by a craving for material wealth, inordinate power and women-mongering would possess the rigour and discipline and conviction so amply displayed in the Gettysburg Address.

Most of what we have in Nigeria has come down as a caricature of the soul of Gettysburg chiefly because our speechmakers are largely the antitheses of Abraham Lincoln. They conduct no studious research ahead of the speeches. They don’t reach back into history to dredge up nuggets of wisdom.

Current occupants of the White House: President 
Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle

They don’t make issues of speeches; they personalize them instead. And most tragically, they are rooted only in today, not looking beyond the present. They have a disdain for a reading lifestyle.

Two leaders in our age have admitted their contempt for reading.
So why won’t we be blessed with leadership with philistine attitudes whose speeches, consisting of  chains of kilometer-long constructions, can’t inspire us to transcendent hope? Why won’t we have speeches better admitted as tutorials for nursing mothers who want to send their infants to sleep? When we have leaders who maintain harems in almost every constituency where they exercise so –termed legislative oversight functions, we can’t but produce a president who says it is unproductive to turn out sociology graduates.

In such a society, it is patriotic to turn deaf ears to pleas that public office holders bow before the Freedom of Information Bill. In this clime it is bliss to avoid the discipline of Gettysburg.
*Ojewale, a journalist at Onibuku, Ota, Ogun State, is a contributor to SCRUPLES. He could be reached with:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Child Sexual Abuse: Call For Urgent Action

Nnaemeka Oruh

Statistics detailing the extent of perpetration of child sexual abuse is hugely alarming. Projections show that the number will increase if something is not urgently done. Therefore, the urgency of the situation demands that I do not waste time on preambles. So I will just get on with it.

(pix: redwoodsgroup)

Cases of child sexual abuse are not receiving adequate attention. In fact, while the cases skyrocket, less and less people clearly and completely understand what it means to sexually abuse a child. So this work is an urgent attempt to educate(and perhaps re-educate some others).Urgent because it is very important that we start this discussion now in order to teach as many people as possible while our children can still be saved.

Child sexual abuse simply refers to the engagement in sexual acts with a person under eighteen. Note that the word "consent" is absent in my definition. The absence was not fortuitous. This is because, a person under eighteen cannot really give consent. So even if the person accepted your sexual overtures, it is still deemed sexual abuse as persons under eighteen cannot legally give consent (in some states in the US, it is 16). I believe that a lot of people do not know this. Thus if we try to explore cases of child sexual abuse using this particular criterion, we will find out that so many people would be found guilty of having sexually abused a child one way or the other. That is why it is important that this piece of information is shared.

There is also the tendency for people to believe that sexual abuse especially as it concerns children has to do with only penetration. This is not true. Child sexual abuse is not only conformed to actual penetration (either with the sexual organ, finger or otherwise). Sexually abusing a child also involves the following:


i) Exposing the child to the view of the sexual organs of others. This may be in the form of allowing them see pornographic materials; see the nakedness of others such as their parents, relatives, etc.

ii) Engaging in sexual activities in the full view of the child. Note that sometimes when for economic reasons the parents or guardians of children are forced to engage in sexual activities in the same room where the children are, most times, the children are aware of these actions and consequently view them and are affected. Such action is thus a clear case of sexually abusing the child.

iii) Inappropriately touching the child's private parts.

iv) Allowing the child to watch movies or programmes rated 18. Programmes rated 18 mostly contain sexual scenes and these scenes would impact the child and make him or her vulnerable.

The above listed underline something very important, namely, that child sex abuse could also come in the form of psychological abuses. It is thus very important that we re-educate ourselves and others so that we can guide against all forms of child sex abuse.

Earlier, I clarified that a person under eighteen cannot legally give consent (apart from some places where the legal age of consent is 16). Thus, it is now important that I explain that if for any reason, as an adult you have engaged in any form of sexual activity with somebody under eighteen(or 16), then you have sexually abused him/her.


Having pointed out the various forms of child sex abuse, it is now important that we evaluate some of the core ways in which one can know a sexually abused child. The points raised below are definitively not exhaustive but they frame the various ways in which one would know a sexually abused child:

i) Pain in the private parts

ii) Discharges (especially foul-smelling ones)

iii) Bruises in the private parts. This can be true for both the girl-child and the boy-child.

iv) Psychological disturbances that could lead to abnormal behaviours such as bed wetting and defecating on himself or herself especially when this was not the case before.

v) Strange behaviour by the child (such as trying to seduce somebody or showing signs of sexual knowledge; becoming withdrawn; performing badly in school; acting anxious; acting abnormally before a particular person.)

The above stated are some of the ways in which one may know an abused child. Once we notice any of the above, it is right to find out the truth and in the case that there has been a physical abuse, it is strongly advised that the child is immediately taken to a hospital for attention.

The importance of taking the child to the hospital immediately must be stressed so that tests can be run to determine if any sexually transmitted disease has been passed on to the child so that treatment can commence immediately. This is why it is very important that cases are reported within 72hours of their occurrence.

Statistically, the rate of child sex abuse in this part of the world is alarming. I believe that having gone through the various forms of abuses we discussed above, it is quite obvious that a large number of Nigerian children have been subjected to some form of sexual abuse or the other. The unfortunate thing is that child sexual abuse is perpetrated mostly by people who are around the children; fathers, mothers, uncles, aunties, cousins, maids, drivers, security men, neighbours, grand parents, teachers, etc.

I know that listing certain class of people above would raise eyebrows (like parents and grandparents), but this is the ugly truth as so many stories have confirmed. The child is mostly comfortable with people who are close to him or her and thus such people are the best positioned to take advantage of the child. It is thus strongly advised that in raising the child, extreme care is taken to ensure that exposure to people who may wish to sexually abuse him or her is reduced to the minimum. Also, the child should be taught to understand that his or her private parts are private and thus nobody (not even his or her parents) has the right to touch them inappropriately.

Children have right to be happy: Don't hurt them

The Child Rights Act demands that we protect our children from any form of abuse. This legally empowers us to do all we can even for the children of other people. Thus we should all form a community police and ensure that our children are well protected from child sex abuse. When we notice a case of abuse, it is pertinent that we immediately swing into action by contacting any child right organization available and making sure that appropriate action is taken.

Also, it is important that the points shared here are conveyed to as many people as possible in order to engender a much needed public re-education. A lot of people in our society do not adequately grasp what it means to abuse a child sexually hence the need for this re-education.

The world as it is, is already mired in so many problems. While we struggle to find solutions to these problems, it is pertinent that attention is also reserved for our future. By correcting and re-educating as many people as possible today, we can at least begin to create a better future. And the future as it is, is all about our children.
Mr. Oruh sent this article to SCRUPLES  from Port Harcourt

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An Epidemic: Nigerian Men Killing Their Nurse Wives In The United States

By Abiodun Ladepo

"Yes I have killed the woman that messed up my life; the woman that has destroyed me. I am at Shalom West. My name is David and I am all yours.”
Those were David Ochola’s words during his 911 (U.S. Emergency Number) call to authorities after shooting dead his 28 years old wife, Priscilla Ochola, in Hennepin, Minnesota. The 50-years old husband was tired of being “disrespected” by his wife, a Registered Nurse (RN) whom he had brought from Nigeria and sponsored through nursing school only to have her make much more than him in salary - a situation which led to Mrs. Ochola “coming and going as she chose without regard for her husband.”  The couple had two children – four years old boy and a three years old girl.  

Some Nigerian Nurses In The US

In Texas, Babajide Okeowo had been separated from his wife, Funke Okeowo, with whom he resided at their Dallas home.  Upon the divorce, the husband lost the house to his wife, along with most of the contents therein, as is usually the tradition in U.S. divorces where the couple still has underage children.  Mr. Okeowo, 48, divorced his wife because not long after she became a RN and made more money than him, she “took control” of the family finances and “controlled” her husband’s expenditure and movement.  The husband could no longer make any meaningful contribution to his family back in Nigeria unless the wife “approved” it. He could not go out without her permission. Frustrated that his formerly malleable wife had suddenly become such a “terror” to him to the point of asking for in court and getting virtually everything for which he had worked since coming to the US thirty years prior, the husband got in his vehicle and drove a few hundred miles to Dallas to settle the scores. He found her in her SUV, adorned in full Nigerian attire on her way to the birthday bash organized in her honor.  She had turned 46 on that day.  Mr. Okeowo fired several rounds into his wife’s torso while she sat at the steering wheel, mercilessly killing her in broad daylight. 

Also in Dallas (they sure need anger management classes in Dallas), Moses Egharevba, 45, did not even bother to get a gun. The husband of Grace Egharevba, 35, bludgeoned her to death with a sledge hammer while their seven years old daughter watched and screamed for peace. Mrs. Egharevba’s “sin” was that she became a RN and started to make more money than her husband. This led to her “financial liberation” from a supposedly tight-fisted husband who had not only brought her from Nigeria, but had also funded her nursing school education. 

Like Moses Egharevba, Christopher Ndubuisi of Garland, Texas, (these Texas people!) also did not bother to get a gun. He crept into the bedroom where his wife, Christiana, was sleeping and, with several blows of the sledge hammer, crushed her head. Two years before Christiana was killed, her mother, who had been visiting from Nigeria, was found dead in the bathtub under circumstances believed to be suspicious. Of course, Christiana was a RN whose income dwarfed that of her husband as soon as she graduated from nursing school. The husband believed that his role as a husband and head of the household had been usurped by his wife. Mr. Ndubuisi’s several entreaties to his wife’s family to intercede and bring Christiana back under his control had all failed.

Dr. Grace Ogiehor-Enoma
President, Nigerian Nurses Association of USA, 
Inc. (NNAUSA),(pix:africaisdonesuffering)

If circumstances surrounding the death of Christiana’s mother were suspicious, those surrounding the death of a Tennessee woman’s mother were not. Agnes Nwodo, a RN, lived in squalor before her husband, Godfrey Nwodo, rescued her and brought her to the US. He enrolled her in nursing school right away. Upon qualifying as a RN, Mrs. Nwodo assumed “full control” of the household. She brought her mother to live with them against her husband’s wishes. Mrs. Nwodo quickly familiarized herself with US Family Laws and took full advantage of them. Each time the couple argued, the police forced the husband to leave the house whether he had a place to sleep or not. On many occasions, Mr. Nwodo spent days in police cells. Upon divorcing his wife, Mr. Nwodo lost to his wife the house he had owned for almost 20 years before he married her. He also lost custody of their three children to her, with the court awarding him only periodic visitation rights. Even seeing the children during visitation was always a hassle as the wife would “arrive late to the neutral meeting place and leave early with impunity.” Mr. Nwodo endured so many embarrassing moments from his wife and her mother until he could take it no more. One day, he bought himself a shotgun and killed both his wife and her mother.   

Caleb Onwudike’s wife, Chinyere Onwudike, 36, became a RN and no longer saw the need to be controlled by her husband. Mr. Onwudike, 41, worked two jobs to send his wife to her dream school upon bringing her to the US from Nigeria. After four years, she qualified as RN. Once she started to make more money than her husband, she began to “call the shots” at home.  She “overruled” her husband on the size and cost of the house they purchased in Burtonsville, Maryland. She began to build a house solely in her name in their native Umuahia town of Abia State, Nigeria, without her husband’s input whatsoever. Mrs. Onwudike came and went “as she liked,” within the US and outside the US. In fact, she once travelled to Nigeria for three weeks “without her husband’s permission” to lavishly bury her father despite her husband’s protestations that they had better things to do with the money. Mrs. Onwudike let her husband know that this was mostly her money and she would spend it however she wanted. Through her hard work, she had risen to a managerial position at the medical center where she worked. Upon her return from burying her father, her husband got one of her kitchen knives and carved her up like Thanksgiving turkey inside their home on New Year’s Day.

Death is death no matter how it comes. But the goriest of these maniacal killings is probably the one that happened here in Los Angeles, California. Joseph Mbu, 50, was tired of his RN wife’s “serial disrespect” of him.  The disrespect began as soon as she became a RN.  Gloria Mbu, 40, had once told her husband he must be “smoking crack cocaine” if he thought he could tell her what to do with her money now that she made more money than him. Before she became a RN, Mr. Mbu had been very strict with family finances and was borderline dictatorial in his dealings with Mrs. Mbu. However, Mrs. Mbu learned the American system and would no longer allow any man to “put her down.” When Joseph Mbu could not take it anymore, he subdued his wife one day, tied her to his vehicle and dragged her on paved roads all around Los Angeles until her head split in many pieces. 

[Author’s note: Although these are true stories, all the names and some of the details of the incidents have been altered as a mark of respect to the families involved. All of the killer husbands noted in these stories were found guilty. Most of them received the death sentence. Only the California and Maryland culprits received life sentences without the possibility of parole.]

It often comes to Nigerian men living in the US as a rude shock when their wives become the household’s bread winner. Having been accustomed to the docility, domestication, subjugation and outright terrorization of women back home in Nigeria, many Nigerian men are astounded when their wives assert their financial, behavioral and social independence. It is commonplace for Nigerian men to take important family decisions without consulting their wives; to travel out of town and indeed out of country without consulting their wives. Some do not even bother to inform their wives! It is not a big deal for Nigerian husbands to answer phone calls from their girlfriends while lying in bed with their wives; to buy expensive gifts for their girlfriends and making only perfunctory, casual attempt to conceal such gifts. It is nothing strange for Nigerian men to, in fact, bring those girlfriends to their matrimonial homes while their wives are home! Some Nigerian men think they have the carte blanche to do what they want because they are the bread winners. What’s the wife going to do to them? Beat them? Leave them? Leave them after one, two or three children? Who’s going to marry her? So Nigerian men think.

The President of the Nigerian Nurses Association of 
USA, Inc. (NNAUSA), 
Speaks On The Issues Raised in this article
This cruel and phenomenal hostage-taking by Nigerian men in Nigeria is what Nigerian women in America are trying to stop. And they figured out the easiest way to begin curtailing these bullish husbands’ wings is to improve their own potential to earn more. A good way to earn a decent pay in the US (unlike in Nigeria) is to become a Registered Nurse. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salaries of RNs, based on information from May 2012, is $68,000, while the mean annual salary is $69,000. The middle 50% of RNs earns between $54,000 and $78,000.  Only 10% of RNs earns less than $44,000, while some 10% earns more than $97,000. The BLS also reports average hourly wages: The median hourly wage of a RN is $32.00 and the mean hourly wage is $33.00. The middle 50% of RNs earns wages of $27.00 to $40.00, with 10% of them earning less than $22.00 while 10% earns more than $48.00 an hour.

Nigerian men in the US are quick to send their “newly-imported” wives to these nursing schools in the hope that once the women graduate, they (the husbands) could take control of their finances and continue their enslavement. You can imagine a man who was probably a menial worker earning less than $30,000 annually in an expensive place like California or New York going back to Nigeria to “oppress” the village with dollars.  He finds a “village girl,” brings her to the US and sends her to nursing school. When she graduates and makes twice his salary, he begins to feel inferior to her and his macho instincts take control of him, catapulting his emotions over his sense of reason. If the RN wife decides to take a second or third job, she can easily triple or quadruple the gap between her earnings and those of her menial job husband’s.  

Working long hours takes the wife away from home and because nurses are expected to work overnight shifts, you end up with a husband who is usually home alone at night with just the children. Since even “normal” marriages can be potentially stressful endeavors, adding spousal jealousy and a husband who sleeps alone half of the time to the equation will certainly test the limits of the marriage. It is the reason why even when such husbands do not go over the hill to kill their wives, they divorce them in epidemic numbers. A friend in New York told me that RN women there are being divorced in droves as if they are plagues.


What is the big deal if a RN wife makes more money than her husband?  There are several other professions in which wives make more money than their husbands. In fact, I know of a few military couples with the wives senior in rank to their husbands even though they joined the military at the same time. Yet, nobody is killing or divorcing anybody.  Is this strictly a RN thing? 

My hope is that some of these RN wives learn from the many other RN wives who successfully manage their homes in spite of making more money than their husbands. My hope is also that the husbands of these RNs learn from husbands of the many RNs who successfully cope with a wife who makes more than they do. I don’t know how they do it, but for every RN who is killed or divorced by her husband, there are hundreds, if not thousands more who proudly respect their husbands and submit to their husbands’ authority – yes, their husbands’ authority (NOT control and NOT abuse) even here in the US.  
By Abiodun Ladepo                            
Los Angeles, California, USA                
*This article was first published on another site  recently. We are reproducing it here to bring the issues raised by the author to the attention of our readers.

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