Last week, a man burnt his wife and her younger brother to death in a bad marriage situation. A close friend of the deceased who is also a relationship coach and a Pastor, Moses Abiola, sent in this write-up to warn against staying too long and keeping quiet in bad marriage situation. Read on:
In the past few weeks, Michael West has been running a series on bad marriage in which preventive and way forward out of dangerous unions have been offered. As for those who think that every marital crisis can be resolved and also for those who do not see divorce as an option, the untimely gruesome killing of 47-year-old banker, Chinyere Ogudoro, should be an eye-opener!
Let me start by asking, why do people stay too long in bad marriages, especially women? Why? It is risky and suicidal to keep silent in the heat of marital turbulence. The late banker was a victim of prolonged stay and wicked silence in her bad marriage.
When a woman is getting more financially empowered either more than her spouse or beyond his expectations, one may not be able to predict the intentions of a bad man. Some men have a sense of insecurity and they become uncomfortable when their wives earn more or are more successful than them. It is on this premise that I want to share the unfortunate story of a dear sister and friend who was murdered in a gruesome manner on Friday, April 1, 2022. Her husband, currently in the police net, is the prime suspect.
Late Chinyere Magella Ogudoro and I belonged to the same Christian ecosystem on WhatsApp called Young Couples’ Fellowship, YCF. Herself and her husband were members of the group. Although, the husband had opted out of the group due to some basic principles of the group which he said contradicted his personal ideology and philosophy about marriage. However, he was readmitted after the wife pleaded on his behalf.
The late sister was very humble, calm and unapologetically generous. An easy-going and ever smiling Chinyere was a rare gem. Though only a few people knew about her troubled marriage, she rarely opened up to anyone about the agony, frustration and danger she was enduring in the marriage that eventually terminated her life last week Friday.
Born on the 12th of May 1975, Chinyere Magella Ogudoro had a promising career in banking while she got married to Benjamin Ogudoro, an accountant. Chinyere did so well in the banking sector as she rose to the peak of her career still discharging her roles as a wife and mother to her four children. She was a Manager at Fidelity Bank before she moved to Ecobank where she resigned as a Regional Manager.
Even though she had a Master’s degree from the University of Lagos in 2006, Chinyere, in a veiled thirst for knowledge and global relevance, went to Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, to pursue another Master’s degree in 2018. Whereas her relocation to Great Britain was for separation from her abusive husband but none of us knew this much until after her unfortunate death when truth started coming out.
Following her murder, one of our close friends said “now I understand why she was complaining of depression and suicidal thoughts.” We did not know she was going through a lot just to keep her marriage ship sailing. Travelling abroad to further her studies was just a facade to keep her sanity as her husband once brought out a machete during a fight with her but for the timely intervention of neighbours, things could have ended in disaster.
She had informed us she would be returning to Nigeria. In fact, she asked one of our mutual friends to help her book a flight to Port Harcourt. So, it came as a surprise when we found out she arrived Nigeria on Thursday March 31 and was killed at about 1am the following day April 1. The president of our group who lives in the neighborhood of the Ogudoros later claimed that the husband, Ben Ogudoro, had made several attempts to sell off the property in which they reside but only to discover that it was the wife’s name that was on the C of O. He became angry even though it was clear that the property belonged to the wife. She also got him a job using her connections.
When Chinyere arrived last week Thursday at Muritala Muhammed International Airport, her brother, Ifeanyi Joseph, went to pick her to the house. The husband, according to their neighbours, was busy drinking at a nearby beer parlour when she got home. Meeting his wife, an argument ensued, and in other to prevent another physical assault, they shut the door against him. Enraged with fury, he demanded why should they close the door, what were they talking about that warranted them shutting the door. He waited till they were asleep at night, he quietly entered their bedroom, poured petrol on the mattresses and floor as well as their bodies, set them aflame and quickly banged the door behind him with lock and key. He then ran out and started raising a false alarm of accidental fire explosion. Chinyere managed to pick her phone to call but could not because she suffered asphyxiation before she was burnt totally beyond recognition.
Meanwhile, Chinyere’s younger and only brother who got married some months ago managed to pull the door down while still burning. He was the one who narrated everything that happened to the neighbours who had gathered to help the burning victims. He was quoted as saying, “My in-law, what did we do to you to deserve this kind of judgement? Why did you set us on fire?”
He was able to do some video and audio recordings with his phone while the incident was going on. He was then rushed to a nearby hospital where he later gave up the ghost in the afternoon of same day. His phone had since been retrieved by the police to help in the course of investigation.
How I wish Magella had spoken up against her abusive and wicked husband. How I wish she had walked away from the jinxed marriage or stay back in Scotland with her children. Unfortunately, Chinyere and her only brother, Ifeanyi Joseph, died a very tragic and painful death leaving their children and loved ones behind.
One profound lesson we need to learn is to speak up. Women should stop dying in silence. Domestic violence is not gender specific. Men, please speak out when your life is under threat. Stop saying that is how she talks when she is angry. One day, it may be too late to cry. Likewise, stop trying to tame a beast in your partner. No marriage is worth anybody’s life. Children that we often use as an excuse for enduring bad marriage are better off with separated or divorced parents than none to care for them.
It is too late to counsel Chinyere now! The killer suspect may not be killed eventually as governors have refused to sign death verdicts on condemned criminals in last 20 years. Many, if not all of such criminals may have their sentences commuted to jail terms. Who is the ultimate loser? The dead, of course! Till date, those who sacrificed their lives in bad marriages did so in vain. God won’t give then medals for dying prematurely and foolishly.
Genesis 19:17b reads: “Run for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Run to the mountains or you will be swept away!”
If after trying to make your marriage work but it’s getting worse, if after going for counselling sessions and prayers the situation is not improving, please RUN! Don’t care about what people will say, it is the same people that encourage you to stay back in abusive marriage that will turn around to blame you for not running for your precious life just as they’re blaming Chinyere now!
• West wrote via