I have been a witness to the injustices, the intimidations, the greediness, the wickedness of in laws towards their daughters and sisters in law. Therefore, these are not mere hearsay, I have seen it happen and I am seeing it happening now.
As it was in the early nineties when I witnessed widow’s plight for the first time, so it is now, over twenty years later. The modus operandi probably varies from people to people but the meaness remains same.
I came face to face with this wickedness meted out on some widows by some families when I was still too young to fully appreciate it but the memories stuck and the impact still lingers. This woman lost her husband of about twelve years and unfortunately, out of the two children they had, the boy died even before the man, leaving the woman with one daughter and that is her greatest crime. It was considered that she had no heir because to them, the girl child worths zilch.
This woman lost her house properties, even to their yet to be used wedding gifts still wrapped in their papers, was driven out of her own part of their family house with the rest of her properties thrown outside, including their matrimonial bed. The land belonging to the late husband which he was building on
before he died, they took over and she could not challenge them since it was situated within the family and she had no son. However, she had to get the law involved when they went for the second land which the man purchased on the outskirts of town. They went as far as using the said plot of land as collateral to get bank loan. This woman was not even aware till someone working within the bank alerted her. That is the only property of her husband in her possession.
Presently, another lady married in the same state, same town is facing same tribulations but on a different scale. Her husband left her with one son on her twenty-eight birthday after two years marriage.
Few days after the young man’s demise, the brother in law came under some guise and took his ATM cards and wallet from her. When after about a week, she asked for those things back so she could buy her baby’s food, she was denied access to them.
Her late husband had properties here and there some of which the widow was not even aware of. Unfortunately, the late husband took the whole land and property documents from Abuja to the east for safety, before the presidential election when it seemed Nigeria would disintegrate. Immediately the man died, every of those documents disappeared till date.
They started withdrawing money from the man’s accounts less than a month after his death, forgeting that the wife and son exist.
They began to treat her like an outcast, telling her through words and actions that she was nobody and therefore cannot act or decide on things concerning her and her husband and child. She should not for instance, open up her late husband’s office for the clients with immediate needs to be assisted.
Unfortunately for these in-laws, their late brother was a barrister. His friends and associates are on their case already. I am watching as everybody is, waiting for them to get what is coming for them.
WOMEN, STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS PLEASE!