The Imo Couple Tragedy And Issues Arising (1)

“My efforts and those of Augustina’s relations to arrest the ugly situation
proved abortive. Augustina poured the acid on him, set him ablaze and ran into hiding. Raymond was rushed to the Emergency Ward of the Federal Medical Centre
(FMC), Owerri, from where he was transferred
to the ward 10 of the hospital where he eventually gave up the ghost.”-Eunice Ihugba, mother of Raymond Ihugba, a 50- year old stonemason who was allegedly douched with raw acid and set ablaze by his wife, Augustina,
a mother of four, allegedly over fund-related misunderstanding between them.
In response to the tragic incident which happened in the Akwakuma Autonomous Community in Owerri North Local Government
Area of Imo State, the traditional ruler of the community, Eze Charles Osuji, described
the incident as an abomination and advised residents of the community to remain
calm as the police intensify their efforts at apprehending the fleeing suspect.
The Imo couple tragedy as reported in some national dailies of Tuesday, October 10, 2017, may be a single case of alleged crime involving a couple, reportedly over a finance-related misunderstanding. Evidently, that is the pointer, from every objective assessment of the material facts of the case as reported in the journals. In this instance – and on this account – it can be held, and the temptation to do this is real – as an isolated case of a couple’s misunderstanding gone awry. Since there is no matter on God’s Mother planet, Earth, where there is a convergent universal opinion on any topic or issue at all, it would be naturally logical to expect that a section of our society hold this view, to which, as a matter
of fact, they are rightly entitled by law and the political module of inclusive democracy that we profess and practice.
However, as in most other instances, there is another, different side to the story as told by the media, though, as is also clearly evident,
the whole facts of the case in hand are understandably not yet in the public domain. This side of the story has to do with the symbolic
and other essences of the story as told by the media. What are its symbolisms and significance, analytically speaking?
Well, again, as in relation to all matters involving humans, it is difficult, if not impossible,
to diagnose the mind of the suspect for all of the facts and factors that may have led her to the ultimately fatal action – again, as alleged. This is because, even in these days of advanced metaphysics, it is still difficult to find the mind’s construction on the face. Of course, it is well established that the capacity
to mask intention, particularly the clearly impish ones, including the one in instance as alleged, is one of the unique evil elements of the nature of man; it may yet remain so for all of time.
However, in spite of the limitation – with regard to the ability to accurately read the human mind, particularly on the basis of the construction of the face – the story in issue still raises fundamental issues that may gradually
be becoming an evil part of our society. These issues relate to the fundamentals upon which the traditional African society rested and the persisting doubt as to their existence today; the place of marriage in the society, the role of the society in the union of couples, the increasing evidence of violence in marriage
and relationship unions, the increasingly
ready availability of instruments of violence in the society – hard drugs, guns and machetes, chemicals, including acids, etc. as well as the rising incidence of poor upbringing
of children by parents and guardians.
While the Imo couple incident may just be one case, it certainly reflects a worrisome trend where what should be normal misunderstanding
among couples , for reason of their persistence, eventually prove ghastly and, as in the case on hand, fatal. How come that, from a society,
which once regarded the sacred union of marriage as life-long, we have now degenerated to one in which convenience defines all else? How come – if it is true that the suspect actually
killed the husband – that our women, once treasured for their perseverance and meekness, humility and accommodation,
are increasingly showing evidence of irascibility? How come the instruments of assault, physical assaults, particularly,
are now readily available to the increasing number of their illegal accessors, who now deploy them to horrible effect, with little consideration for the consequences of their evil actions? At what point would a man/woman reach the evil decision to terminally hurt his/her spouse? How come that, in increasing cases of domestic violence that prove deadly, neighbours, almost always, fail to intervene? Why, for God’s sake, is it that, against the backdrop of our profuse profession of religion and godliness, we have, as a society, become far less tolerant and grossly incapable of amicably
resolving issues than our forebears? Do we realise that the increasing level of physical
and other forms of violence
are a sad reflection of our mindless neglect of the once wholesome traditional African way of child upbringing?
Would it not have been better for the suspect-if she is guilty as alleged-to have sought divorce and left the poor man alone, rather than the unwise resort to a clearly impish option? At what point did it suddenly occur to the suspect that her husband is incapable of meeting her increasing
material demands?
And then this: What option
is now available to the children and relations of the deceased and the suspect-to cooperate with the police and have her arraigned and possibly charged for murder on account of which she runs the risk of conviction for the death sentence, (in which case the children would lose both parents to death)or, to obstruct justice and save the suspect the risk of a romance with the hangman’s noose (in which respect all accomplices
would bear a life- long torture on account of the negative compromise of the truth). Dilemma; plenty of it.
My advice?
Application of common sense called wisdom.