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Why couples lie about inability to have children– Psychologists, clerics

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Lies have been known to wreak incalculable damage in marriages, and those relating specifically to inability to have children have been even more devastating. VINCENT EBOIGBE explores this issue through the eyes of those who had been caught in this conundrum. Behavioural scientists and clerics also provide explanation for this phenomenon while highlighting options available to spouses who have been victims of such deceptions.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Olajumoke had been married for six years without a child. They were Christians and the ‘little’ matter of childlessness was not supposed to be an issue to threaten their union or fret about unduly. So it seemed.

The peace in the home of the Olajumokes was shattered when the man of the house came back from the United Kingdom after a training course. His wife, Oluyemi, was acting strangely and Dapo couldn’t understand the reason behind it. Oluyemi, apparently stricken by a huge dose of guilt was finding it difficult to keep up the charade and lies she had told her unsuspecting husband for years.

The façade was coming off. She finally told Dapo that she couldn’t have children, that she had no womb. It was a bombshell and Dapo was understandably angry. “That was when the bottom fell off the marriage but Dapo was a staunch Christian, a deacon.

So, sending his wife away was going to be a tough proposition given that he wedded her in the church,” recounted a source close to the situation but who didn’t want to be identified. “Eventually, the couple couldn’t keep a lid on the whole affair as furious Dapo demanded answers. That was when the church got involved.

The church’s elders set up a committee which after reviewing the case decided that considering Oluyemi’s deceit, lies and Dapo’s anger, the wife should move in with one of the church elders, albeit temporarily.

“It was the best compromise the committee could come up with. On the one hand, they didn’t want to approve an outright divorce since it was a church wedding; on the other, they couldn’t escape the seriousness of the case.

They were caught between a rock and a hard place and their solution was a smart way of dealing with the trying situation. Even at that, members of the church were not happy with the decision of the elders’ committee.

However, many of them became less critical when they heard the entire story.” That was the end of the marriage as Oluyemi never went back to her matrimonial home. The separation of Ben and Blessing Okundaye was cantankerous.

While Oluyemi was stricken with guilt, Blessing was prepared to stick it out, she refused to tell her husband the truth. But when she couldn’t conceive after seven years of marriage, Ben’s older sisters took matters into their hands.

They harangued and harassed Blessing at every turn. As it turned out Mrs Okundaye had damaged her womb long ago following a series of abortions, but she kept the fact away from her husband.

So, it was not strange that Blessing was not keen on medical tests. “Anytime I brought up the matter of going to the hospital for tests she always had a ready excuse. It got me worried and thinking.

Ultimately, she had no choice but succumb when my sisters’ insistence became unbearable,” stated Ben. “When the results came out, my worst fears were confirmed. I was livid. How could she do this to me?

I’ve heard it said that when people are going to lie, it is to those they are closest that they will lie most completely, but even at that I couldn’t believe the extent of her deceit. “I didn’t know when I pounced on her and beat her to an inch of her life.

It looked as if I was outside of myself, one of those out of body experiences. I said I would kill her for wasting my time so deliberately and callously. She landed in a hospital and from there landed back in her parents’ home.” When Mabel Okeogwu had not con-ceived after five years of marriage, she was almost beside herself with worry. But his husband, Douglas, never seemed overly bothered.

He was content with offering perfunctory platitudes like ‘it will be okay’, ‘don’t worry yourself so much’. But Mabel continued to worry. She had done countless tests where it was confirmed she had no problem.

“Mabel eventually got pregnant by another man while still married to Douglas, but she couldn’t bring herself to foist the pregnancy on Douglas. She told him the truth and moved out of their matrimonial home,” narrated Mabel’s neighbour who asked not to be named.

“Mabel was such a nice woman but her family put so much pressure on her and she finally caved in. In fact it was her family that ‘arranged’ the man she later got married to. They convinced her that Douglas only fired blanks and knew about it as his first wife had also left him for similar reasons. She confronted him and he had nothing to say. I must confess I also encouraged Mabel to listen to her family.”

But why would men and women lie to their spouses about such a fundamental issue? Dr. Rotimi Coker, Behavioural Scientist, Department of Behavioural Medicine, Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Ikeja, Lagos, provided some insight into the matter. “The first explanation is that, those who get married never do fertility tests.

There is no way these couples will find out whether they will conceive or not,” Coker said. “Secondly, married couples can only find out that they are infertile after trying to have a baby for one year after living together. After one year, they are advised to carry out infertility tests for both couple.

The fertility test will thereafter show those that are fertile and those that are infertile. “Thirdly, a very minority of men and women will find out that they were infertile before getting married, and they could only find out probably by chance.

“Due to the cultural and traditional implications of being infertile, the individuals involved may use psychological or emotional defence mechanisms such as denial, repression and projection and make them to accept the reality of being infertile.

Therefore, they consciously or unconsciously behave as if nothing is wrong with them.” Mr Akin Gabriel, a clinical psychologist at Psychiatrist Hospital, Yaba, also shed some light on why people engage in such monumental deception. “One reason for this is that people do not want to hurt their partners with the truth. He or she is going to be apprehensive about how the partner will take the news. And it is not likely they will take it well.

The African man, especially the Nigerian man, places so much premium on children. Immediately after marriage, family members will be watching for signs of pregnancy and if there are not, they will begin to murmur.

But people are often so desperate to get married that they take the risk. “If a young lady for instance has issues with conception but is getting old and is desirous to get married, she is not likely to tell the truth to her partner.

Some people also lie to push the blame to their spouses. Nobody wants to appear incomplete. “And there is the current religious trend where everything is well. Despite the stark reality, some people refuse to affirm anything they claim is negative.

They keep saying it is well despite the obvious facts. People with this mindset are likely to hide the fact of their inability to conceive from their spouses in the hope that things will work out in their favour, but that is a recent phenomenon.

As you know in these instances, the woman will be running everywhere in search of solutions, but the man could just be the one with the problem. But he may not tell the truth because he knows the implication of that.”

A medical social worker at LUTH, Titilayo Tade, painted scenarios that could drive people to keep secret such a crucial fact. She gave both cultural and religious perspectives to the whole issue.

“One of the major reasons is that who we are as a people is tied to our culture. Culture and education shape who we become as adults. From a cultural and religious perspective, we are told that when you get to a certain age, you have to get married and have children.

So, culturally we’ve been programmed that way, we’ve been told that is what to do,” Tade said. “Also, religiously, as a Christian and I think the same applies in Islam, we were told to go into the world and procreate.

So, as an adult, you have that at the back of your mind but then you run into a situation where you are told you cannot have kids. What do you do? You are not likely to reveal that fact to your partner “As you are getting married there is already pressure almost from day one.

People are already telling you ‘we hope you will be double soon,’ ‘we will come and celebrate with you soon.’ So, the pressure to get married and have children soon afterwards is huge. “Now to find out that you cannot have children or are incapable of conceiving is too much to handle for most people.

So, they lie to their partners because to tell the truth is a certain way of losing that partner. Africans like children and rarely would a man or woman hear that their prospective partner has such problem and still go ahead with the marriage “Even for those who do not have such problems but decide to have just two children for instance, older folks would think they are crazy.

They would insist that they have more. So you can imagine the pressure those who cannot conceive are under. Given these scenarios, people would rather not come clean. “In fact, people with such problems even lie to themselves; they will tell you ‘I reject it, it is not my portion.’ They will move from one church to the other, from one spiritualist to another, taking all sorts of concoction.“Again, a man’s ego is tied to his ability to procreate.

Traditionally, men don’t want to even hear such things. Even when they are the ones with the problem, they would rarely own up. They don’t even want to go to hospitals with their wives; that is why in hospitals these days, they ask wives: ‘why are you coming alone?’ Where is your husband?” Dr. John Kome, General Overseer, God’s Kingdom Centre International Inc., who has been a church leader for several decades and had seen many of such cases, recounted a couple of them to Saturday Telegraph.

“In my 39 years as a preacher and a counsellor, I have witnessed dozens of partners who flagrantly lied to their partners about their state of partial, acute or complete impotence. The bad news is that the aftermath of such obvious secrecy was catastrophic. “Come to think of it, where will trust which is the key to successful relationship ever hold sway in such relationships? “Let me narrate one instance.

There was this Christian lady who brought a very handsome man and introduced him to me as a fiancé. From the interview I conducted with the man, I immediately knew something was wrong. All effort to get the man own up met a brick wall. I advised against the union but both lovers ignored me and went ahead to say ‘I do’ both in a law court and in the church. Not even a week passed when the marriage fell apart when it was discovered that the man was only handsome in the face but not below the belt.”

There was another young man with a medical condition, low sperm count. He didn’t reveal his true state to his fiancée and they went ahead to do the wedding. Dr Kome recalled the particular case: “Having hid this information from his woman, they got hooked in church in a lavish wedding ceremony.

The nights afterwards were full of more lies such as: ‘I am tired tonight sweetie.’ ‘I will be observing prayers and fasting for a couple of days, honey.’ ‘There’s a business trip with my boss for a few days etc.’

“The lies continued unabated. But you know, what has a beginning must also have an end. At the end of the lying drama, it became obvious that someone had to own up to the detriment of the relationship.”

How does a partner who had been lied to react when they finally find out that their wife or husband, as the case may be, had so deliberately deceived them all along? “On religious side, marriage is ‘For Better, For Worse.’ Nevertheless, marriages contracted on the ground of deceit before God Almighty is sinful and satanic. God hates lies whereas Satan is the father of lies.

Therefore to me, such ‘contract’ should be annulled or voided,” Kome added. “Although I am not a lawyer, the law may not be far from same the sentiment considering the fact that such marriages were contracted on grounds of deceit.

I leave that to the learned gentlemen to interpret. “However, people must learn to tell their partners their medical, heredity (genetic) problems which you think could have a solution because “with God all things are possible.” But if there isn’t faith, cut the relationship off at once.

“Medically, not all cases of inability to bear children are hopeless. As someone in the medical field, we have been involved with medical experts who were helpful in so many of such cases and they came out successful.

Partners are encouraged to seek both medical and divine help not ‘spiritual help.’ People should be truthful to themselves and their fellow human beings.” Chief Imam, University of Ilorin, Professor AbduSalaam Oladosu, was emphatic when he said that any marriages based on deceit and lies had no place in Islam and could be annulled on that basis. He stated that the act of lying violates a cardinal principle of Islam.

“The position of Islam is that as soon as it is discovered that the couples were lying to each other, they can remarry. Lying cannot endure forever and no matter how long a lie had subsisted, at a particular point in time, the liar will be exposed.

The position of Islam is that first, the act of lying is a violation of one of the fundamental principles and practices of Islam, a violation of Islamic ethics and the belief is that whoever lies is not a good Muslim,” explained Oladosu who had his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Egypt and his PhD at the University of Ilorin.

“Secondly, once this cover-up had been discovered, an individual is allowed to remarry because one cannot continue to live a childless life. Indeed it is in Islamic literature that Muslims should try to get married not just to one woman, but up to four if one can afford it.

However, there is a proviso which is that you should be fair and just to all of them. The moment you are not able to be fair to all, the instruction is that you should stick to one. But it is not a crime to remarry after finding out that your spouse cannot have children.

However, you don’t have to abandon the first one (in case of a woman) unless she chooses to leave. “Naturally, we want to have children, except nowadays that we have been influenced by all manner of foreign and alien cultures. In a typical African setting in the past, they married more than one wife and had many children. The prophetic ideal I mentioned earlier is that, Muslims should marry as many as four wives and have as many children as possible because on Resurrection Day, the Prophet will be proud of those that applied that injunction.”

Coker weighed in again: “Handling such cases depends on the maturity level of the individual that was lied to. The partner may ask for outright divorce. He may also ask for medical, spiritual or cultural help. They may even settle for adoption of a baby.

It depends on the circumstance they find themselves. “The lying partner might have been loving, caring, rich, generous and homely before being detected. In that light, the other partner may forgive the lying partner. On the other hand, if the lying partner was a bad person, it will be case of ‘good riddance to bad rubbish.’ Such cases are taken on individual basis.”

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Infrastructure: Ugwuanyi sets example in Enugu

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Rapid developmental strides in Enugu State under the administration of Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi have been rated outstanding and have received wide commendation within and outside the state. People from some other states of the federation have had causes to ask their governors to go over to Enugu State and see how Ugwuanyi is carrying out a massive infrastructure development programme across the state.

 

Enugu State is one of the few states in which the election results that brought him into office were never contested. Ugwuanyi is keen to reciprocate the high level of confidence of the people on his administration with his vision of making the state the economic hub east of the Niger. On his inauguration day as the governor of Enugu State, Ugwuanyi declared that the entire state is his constituency and therefore assured that development would be evenly spread.

 

So far, he has lived up to his standing commitment that no community will be left out in his administration’s drive for speedy development across the state. While many states were yet reeling in the pain of reduced federal revenue allocations in 2015, Ugwuanyi surprisingly flagged off a number of major development projects towards the end of the year.

 

These include the inauguration of a 2.5MVA injection sub-station at Ezi-Nze designed to supply electricity to communities in three local government areas, spur business activities there and also power the Adada Dam project as well as the Greater Nsukka Water Scheme. Others were the construction of Amankwo Ngwo through Eke Odudoto Ama Brewery Road, the reconstruction of an erosion devastated road at Abor–Nsukka Road and the repair and resurfacing of portions of Enugu- Ninth Mile Expressway.

 

Rehabilitation work at Nawfia Street in Independence Layout was also commissioned to ameliorate the suffering of the inhabitants of that area. From where has Ugwuanyi got the financial capacity to do all that he has accomplished in infrastructure development in Enugu State?

 

He said the secret lies in priority and prudence. He detracted from both federal and other state governments’ culture of pointing accusing fingers. Rather than keep complaining about what he lacks, the Enugu governor has done exploits with what he has. Enugu State is ranked among the few states in the country that promptly pay contractors handling different development projects in their respective domains.

 

This has made the execution of many development projects in the state largely hitch free. The state has no records of unpaid contractors or of projects abandoned.

 

After a physical inspection of Federal Government’s roads reconstructed by Ugwuanyi’s government, Minister of State for Works, Power and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, broke political party lines to shower commendations on the Enugu State government, asking other state governments to follow the example of Ugwuanyi on infrastructure development. Ugwuanyi has explored options for development of electric power projects, including a solar power plant at Udi to boost economic activities.

 

Development of reliable options for improved electricity supply in the state is a key strategy of his administration for revamping ailing industries. Roads are the principal means of movement of people and goods in Nigeria and therefore road development is of prior importance in the country.

 

A good road attracts attention because it represents a clear evidence of government’s developmental action. This explains why residents in Enugu State continue to hail Ugwuanyi for a new lease of life brought about by many road construction and other infrastructure development projects. Ugwuanyi seems to be the Moses of our time – a God-sent leader on a worthy mission to take his people to the state of economic development that has eluded the south-easterners for too long. Ikpeama write from Enugu

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Celebrating Lagos at 51

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Exactly a year ago, Lagos State turned 50. Nigerians came out in larger numbers to participate in the oneyear long celebration of the coming of age of the State of aquatic splendor. The celebrations culminated in a spectacular show on 27 May, 2017 at the grounds of Eko Atlantic. It has been one year now since those celebrations took place.

We look back today, one year after, and see a Lagos that is remarkably different at 51. Infrastructure development continues to be in the front burner of our administration. From Abule Egba to Ajah, from Epe to Badagry; Lagos resounds with an endless run of repaired and newly constructed roads and bridges.

From Alapere to Okokomaiko, Agege to TBS, the city breathes with lay-bys that have drastically whittled hours spent in agonizing traffic jams across the State. From Agege to Yaba, Ojodu Berger to Lekki, Lagos stares with shimmering streetlights that adorn the most populous black city in the world with glee.

 

The pace of development in Lagos State since last year, and indeed since we came on board, is modestly noticeable. Yet during our campaign, our resonant message was that Lagos must work for all. We said it then and has continued to reiterate it since assuming powers that ours would be government of inclusion; where every hard working Nigerian would have a place to call home. Our message of hope knows no difference between federal and state roads: for the reclusive child of fate there are no federal or State Lagosians.

 

All roads in Lagos, as with all other infrastructure, belong to the people. Through the years, we have steadily repaired our State, modernizing and retooling things to the point where we now talk about turning Lagos into a Smart City. In every way, our infrastructure is improved.

 

Our roads are better, our mass transportation has expanded, hospitals give better care to the sick and afflicted, education is improving and more affordable housing is being constructed before our very eyes. The face of Badagry is changing. The makeover of Oshodi will cause you to marvel at the transformation that can take place even in densely populated urban space when there is the political will and determined creativity to give the people the infrastructure they deserve. We are improving and expanding the Airport Road so that a trip to and from the airport no longer takes more time than your flight itself.

 

The Lekki-Epe axis was once an isolated, inactive tract of land. Now it bustles with energy, activity and prosperity due in large measure to the roads and other infrastructure our State has constructed. We have and will continue to build bridges linking parts of Lagos that have not been linked before so that commerce, transport and communication among Lagosians will be facilitated. We aim to make this state fully integrated so that one part is well connected to any other. All of this work is underpinned by the belief that Lagos belongs to all of us.

 

Lagos is not an exclusive club. It is an inclusive family. Available statistics from the United Nations confirmed the fact that an average of 86 people enter into Lagos every one hour which is the highest in the world, while the population of the State was now around 24million, with attendant impact on infrastructure and other social amenities.

 

And the significance of Lagos to the overall economy of Nigeria itself is not what anyone would want to toy with. There is therefore the need for a pragmatic approach by a visionary government to put machinery in place to tackle the future challenges.

 

That is what our government has been doing in the last three years and the desire destination in the nearest future is to make Lagos the third largest economy in Africa. As a government, we are conscious of the fact that infrastructure, security, stability and partnership with all stakeholders are fundamental ingredients for tourism development. We have channeled a lot of resources into creating an enduring infrastructural architecture for the business of tourism to thrive. In order to do this successfully, we must first build a solid infrastructural architecture that will endure.

 

It must be safe and secure; it must provide functional and diverse venues for the arts, culture, festivals, creative industry, recreation and wildlife; and it must constantly and productively engage with its critical stakeholders.

 

The Tourism Master Plan is focused on Six key sectors; Culture and Heritage, Film, Art and Entertainment, Business Tourism, Nature and Adventure, Medical and Wellness, Beach and Leisure. Qualitative education is one of the cardinal duties a government must render to its people and the importance our government attaches to education is reflected in the 12.07% of the total 2018 Budget allocated to Education.

 

This allocation is surpassed by only that of Economic Affairs and General Public Services. Our State has always been a trailblazer in various spheres of life and in order to consolidate on the economic gains made so far, the education of our youth is paramount. We seek the cooperation of all Lagosians to ensure we eradicate illiteracy in the State, groom the next generation of leaders and captains of industry as well as position our State as the standard bearer for the nation in the provision of qualitative tertiary education.

 

On security, we believe that the continued prosperity of our State can only be achieved under a well-secured and peaceful environment, hence our strong financial investment on security architecture, modern equipment, vehicles and welfare to enhance the fighting capacities of our security agencies. We have inspired Lagosians to pay taxes.

 

In truth, Nigerians do not like paying taxes, not because they are naturally averse to taxes, but because they have been taken for a ride for too long. We have demonstrated our readiness to judiciously and efficiently manage the state resources for the benefit of the generality of our people.

 

The positive response of our people has shown that when a government wins the confidence of her people, they will respond with decisive performance of their civil obligations.

 

This is the essence of the social contract we made with Lagosians when we resumed on 29 May, 2015. The social contract of inclusive governance and purposeful leadership is what we are renewing with our people today that Lagos is 51; and in this month that our governance of Lagos clocks three years. We wish to assure Lagosians that our government is one that listens.

 

Our administration does not play the Ostrich that buries its head in the sand. Ours is a responsive government that promises and delivers on inclusiveness.

Yes, it’s not a perfect state because we believe there will always be challenges, but with God and all our citizens on our side we would always triumph. I will readily admit that I am not infallible and it is an evident truism that I exhibit a different DNA and leadership style which some might not be alienable to, but we have kept faith with our cardinal principles by consistently delivering the goods/services and making our people happy. The future of Lagos State is bright and secured.

Happy Anniversary!!!

 

Mr Ambode is the Governor of Lagos State

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THE OREKOYA ABDUCTION: My wife gave herself up for me to escape –Suspected kidnapper

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After more than three years of running from the law, M.r Waheed Abubakar, an alleged kidnap kingpin finally ended his race in police custody. Abubakar was alleged to be the ringleader of a kidnap gang.

His wife, mother, brother and sister-in-law were alleged to be part of the gang members. The gang specialised in abducting children of rich parents. Abubakar’s wife, Fumilayo Adeyemi, alias Mary Akinloye, was the gang member that used to infiltrate homes of unsuspecting Nigerians, posing as a house help. Once she’s employed she would disappear with the children. The gang would later demand ransom in order to release the children.

The gang came to the attention of the world after Funmilayo, who was recruited through an online portal, OLX, disappeared with the three children of Mr. and Mrs. Leke Orekoya from their Surulere apartment, a day after she was employed. The three children were then 11-month-old Aderomola, Adedamola (four) and Ademola (six).

The distraught parents later received a call, asking them to pay N15million as ransom or they wouldn’t see their children ever again. The gang was also behind the abduction of two brothers, Michael and Rafael Esharegaran, from their home at Magodo, Lagos.

Funmilayo abducted the two boys after she was employed as a maid. The Esharegarans were said to have paid N10million as ransom, although the police denied knowledge of the payment.

Funmilayo was eventually tracked through a bank account where a ransom was deposited and had since been arraigned in court and remanded in prison custody. When the gang was smashed by operatives of the Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT), led by Mr Abba Kyari, only Funmilayo was arrested.

Other members escaped and went underground. Since 2015 that the incident happened, Kyari and his men had refused to beat a retreat in the investigations and had continued the hunt for Abubakar and other members of the gang. And just when many thought the trail had gone cold Abubakar was arrested.

A police source said: “It took IRT operatives three years to track down and locate Waheed Abubakar. He was tracked to Ikorodu, where he was operating as a motorcyclist. The IRT operatives followed up the case to know who were behind the kidnapping of babies in Lagos homes.

Immediately the operatives got the information about the suspect, they traced him to Abuja where he had earlier escaped to when the heat was much in Lagos. The suspect disappeared immediately his wife was arrested. He settled at Kubwa area in Abuja, where he worked as a tricycle operator.

When he realised that the police were still after him and were almost about to grab him, he ran back to Lagos and continued with his tricycle business at Ikorodu. “He was later tracked to his house; but the day operatives went to arrest him, they didn’t meet him.

The men left and went back to their station to re-strategize. They went after him again and found him at a motor park in Ikorodu. He confessed to the police that he was running around to avoid being arrested by the police.

He said that he had forgotten that IRT men were everywhere and that nobody could escape from them.” Abubakar was arrested after three years of being on the run and being a fugitive. Abubakar, who introduced himself as a tricycle rider said that he has two children, not four, as claimed by his wife. Indeed, in his confessions, Abubakar punctured many of Funmilayo’s confessions and allegations. One of the lies his wife told was allegation that his mother was involved in kidnapping, said Abubakar.

How my wife and I got involved in abduction

Recollecting how he and his wife got involved in kidnapping, Abubakar said: “I got involved in kidnapping through a friend, Hadiza Olawale. I knew him in Ibadan since 2013. He was living beside our house at Alakia area. We were friends then. After two years of losing contact, I ran into him at Egbeda in 2014.

I was returning from hospital where my wife had just gave birth to a baby. The name of my wife is Olayemi Adeyemi not Funmilayo “I was thinking of how to pay my wife’s medical bill on that day. My wife just had our second baby through a Caesarean Section in a private hospital. He was the first to sight me.

He shouted my name; I didn’t immediately recognize him because he had changed. He looked fresh compared to when he was in Ibadan. He asked me why I looked worried. I opened up to him; I told him what I was going through. I told him how much money I was looking for. He promised to assist me.

He asked me to follow him to his house around Shasha area. To my surprise, he gave me a bulging envelop. It contained money. When I counted it, it was N150, 000. The exact amount I needed to pay for the hospital bill.”According to Abubakar, after the naming ceremony, he and his wife went to Hadiza’s house to thank him. When they got to the Good Samaritan’s house, he told them that he was not happy with their financial situation. He said that he had a job for them.

Abduction of the Orekoya boys

Before Hadiza was through with the details of the job, Funmilayo allegedly jumped on it, saying she and her husband would do it. They were desperate for money. Abubakar recalled: “My wife jumped on the offer. She promised to do it in as much as the business would be yielding money.

We were given details of where my wife would go and work. She was also told how to escape with the abducted children in any home she went to work as nanny. He promised my wife and I that there wouldn’t be any problem and nobody would be arrested. “Unfortunately, when he was talking to my wife and I, we didn’t ask him what would be our own share of the proceeds.

He asked my wife if she could work as a nanny. Hadiza placed the advert on OLX. It was through the advert that the Orekoyas got in touch with us. Hadiza instructed Funmilayo to proceed to Lawanson, Surulere and work as nanny at the Orekoya’s house.

“When the Orekoyas went to work, my wife took the kids away. She put a call through to Hadiza. The man drove straight to where she waited for him. He collected the children from her and drove off. I was not really involved in the kidnapping. I got involved through my wife, who Hadiza was using.”

How my wife was arrested

Abubakar said that he remembered vividly how his wife allowed herself to be arrested by operatives of IRT, just so that he could escape. He said: “On the day my wife was arrested, she and I were together. When police arrested her, she gave me a signal, indicating that I should escape. I understood her reason; she wanted me to stay behind to take care of our children. We have two children; a boy and a girl. The girl, Fatima, is 13 years old, and the second is a boy, Ali. He’s just seven years old.

The policemen didn’t know me, so it was easy for me to escape. I immediately travelled to Abuja from Lagos. I settled at Kubwa where I started riding tricycle. I spent a year and half there. I only came back to Lagos to take care of my aged mother and check on my children. My mother is 62 years old.

She has just two of us; me and my sister. Nobody knows the whereabouts of my sister or if something has happened to her. When my mother heard of the kidnap incident, she insulted and slapped me.

For now, I’m her only child.” Asked to mention other homes that Funmilayo had gone to work as maid and later abducted children, Abubakar said: “I only know that Hadiza took my wife to two places; Surulere and Ikeja to work as a house help.” Abubakar denied that his mother, brother and sister-in-law were part of the kidnapping gang as earlier alleged by Funmilayo in 2015. He said: “It’s not true. I got involved in this problem through Hadiza.

I wanted to return the favour. He assisted me when I was in need and needed help. He was God sent at that time to my wife and I. After the abduction of the Orekoya children, Hadiza gave my wife just N15,000 and N3,000 to buy recharged cards.

He gave her the money after he dropped her off. He left with the children. “I heard in the news the following day that he demanded ransom from the kids’ parents. After the first operation, he called my wife that there was another job. My wife went to Ikeja, but didn’t succeed in the operation. When I saw the Orekoyas crying on television because of the abducted children, I felt bad.”

My wife and prison

Abubakar stated that he felt bad for not going to prison to visit his wife since her arrest. He said: “I can’t go to prison to visit her, but I do send money to her through her people. I also always pray for her. I regret all my actions in this abduction saga.

I pray that God will forgive me. Please also tell the Orekoyas and other families whose babies my wife kidnapped to forgive my wife and I. It was financial challenges that pushed us into such a crime.”

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