KWENU: Our Culture, Our Future

Nigerian marriages in America are ending deadly



Dallas, Texas


Thursday, September 22,  2005


It is no longer a secret that many Nigerian families in America are dysfunctional. Disturbingly, many Nigerian marriages are in trouble. Some have either ended in divorce or separation, while others are just fudging. Even in the face of that pretentious buoyancy, there is a violent temper coupled with anger simmering beneath the surface of some of these marriages.


The continued rant and rave in some of these families have escalated to perennial domestic disputes that have consumed them.


With each passing moment, doNigerian families in the USA are becoming violent and sometimes, deadly. The simmering is now seeping out. With this phenomenon at play, only one incident could have the potential to form a deadly mix that would change the families forever. Regrettably, that was exactly what happened to two families recently in Dallas suburbs.


In Grand Prairie, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, Mrs. Monireti Abeni Akeredolu, a 46-year old Nigerian lady met her untimely death in the hands of her estranged husband, Mr. Ebenezer Akeredolu, Sr., 48, on Thursday night, September 8, 2005. This was a day after her birthday.


Despondently, Mr. Tuiru Ali, an uncle to the deceased told Champion Newspapers,  “My niece was an easy; “My niece was an easy going lady and she respected everyone.” He continued, “Her husband drove all the way from Atlanta for about 13 hours to end her life.”


Choking in disgust, Ali, originally from Ondo State said, “Abeni Akeredolu had been experiencing domestic violence in her home; it had been going on for a long time, but each time I confronted her husband with it, he would deny it. You know, culturally she did not want to report her husband to the police so that she would not carry the stigma of someone that reports her husband to police. In fact, I share in the blame for not asking her to report the domestic violence to the police so that an appropriate action could be taken.”


Describing the horror, Tuiru said, “They were separated; I’ve been in this country for about 13 years and I’ve not experienced anything like this.” “I miss her,” Ali concluded.


Apparently, Ebenezer Akeredolu, Sr., who lives in Atlanta Georgia, was casing his estranged wife for her daily routine. When he found the opportune time to commit his heinous act, he emptied four bullets on her and left her dying in a pool of blood. She died in the driver’s seat in her car. The surviving son, Ebenezer Akeredolu, Jr., 13, is now left without both parents as Mr. Ebenezer Akeredolu, Sr., is remanded in police custody.


Not too long ago, on August 10, 2005 in Euless, a suburb of Dallas, another Nigerian husband, a 45-year old e="font-size: 11pt">Not too long ago, on August 10, 2005 in Euless, a suburb of Dallas, another Nigerian husband, a 45-year old Johnny Omorogieva murdered his wife, Mrs. Isatu Omorogieva, 35, by savagely striking her on the head numerous times with a hammer in the full view of his 7-year old daughter. Unfortunately, the surviving children, an 8-year-old boy and a girl were in the custody of Child Protective Services (CPS) pending the determination of next of kin, whom would assume the custody of the children.


It is sad! No one deserves to die in the hands of another no matter the family situation. Most importantly, no child deserves to lose a parent in the manner Ebenezer Akeredolu, Jr. and Omorogieva’s children lost theirs.


In his latest commentary on marriage, Rev. Frank Ekejija sadly pointed, “Within the last two months, two disgruntled Nigerian men have murdered their estranged wives. The first Nigeria used a hammer to slugger his Sierra Leonean wife to death. The last incident took place on September 8, 2005. The man traveled all the way from Atlanta, Georgia where he now resides after having been separated, from his Ondo native-born wife, for more than a year. He embarked on his murderous journey back to a Dallas suburb specifically to kill the woman who is also the mother to their only young son. He concluded that if he cannot have her she must die for he "love her too much to let her go". Pray, if the devil is not extremely busy, tell me what can motivate a human being to be so dastardly.”


Reprehensible, of course, were the actions of Akeredolu and Omorogieva, who could have settled their differences with civility. Civility may be farfetched in the heat of anger and desperation. However, that should never be an excuse for taking one’s life.


The significance of these domestic violence-related deaths is that people no longer shy away from discussing openly some of the causes of marital disputes among Nigerians living in the Diaspora. In some quarters, people have advanced some of the probable causes of problems in some marriages to be infidelity, inability to cope with change, withholding of love, lack of communication, physical abuse, and a host of other factors.


Infidelity has ruined some Nigerian marriages in America. Some of the divorces have claims of infidelity as their primary causes of marriage dissolution.  


The changing role of ladies among the Nigerians has activated the inferiority complex of some Nigerian men. In some Nigerian families, the ladies are the breadwinners. Traditionally, that is the role of the men. However, in situations where the contrary prevails, both men and women have had difficulties adjusting to the dynamics. While men churn in inferiority maze, the women either deliberately or inadvertently remind the men that they are making the money. As a result, there is always a constant bickering about minute things.


There is a perceived notion that some Nigerian wives withhold love from their husbands. Obviously, some women would rather spend more time at work than spend it with their spouses. The issue of withholding love may be due to physical and mental tiredness resulting from long work hours. If the women are charged with men’s responsibility, they have to work to provide for the family. If they are tired, the rest is history.


Compounding the marital problem is the lack of communication. Some Nigerian marriages end because of lack of communication. Interpersonal and communication skills of some Nigerians are poor. As a result, expressing one’s needs freely in a cordial atmosphere is impeded.


Obviously, some women suffer physical abuse in their homes. It is a problem that needs to be addressed in our community. Violence is not gender specific. Men also receive emotional and physical abuse from their spouses. Culturally, it’s a taboo for a man to disclose that he is being beaten by his wife. As a result, some men are carrying an emotional scare for being abused by their wives.


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