Few days ago, Nigerians were jolted to hear the news of the sudden death of a celebrated Gospel singer; Mrs. Osinachi Nwachukwu whose popular track “EKWUEME” in recent time has pervaded many Christian homes. The death in itself was not much of a strange phenomenon but the circumstances that led to it, which have sent tongues wagging due to the inhuman tendencies therein.
Soon after the announcement of her passage in Abuja hospital, news came to light that she had died as a result of domestic violence in the hands of her husband Mr. Peter Nwachukwu.
Initially, it began as a story from the rumour mill that the singer suffered so much in the hands of her husband with whom she had four children. As the days went by, circumstances that led to the death began to unfold as close relations and associates with some insider knowledge began to reveal what they knew. Such information that came to the public space inevitably gave room for many prominent Nigerians who reckon with the late singer’s contributions to the gospel music industry to seriously probe into the death.
Prominent among such personalities were the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development; Dame Pauline Tallen who visited the home of the Nwachukwus and spoke with Osinachi’s children who narrated the abuses their mother suffered in the hands of her husband.
Another person was Dr. Paul Eneche; the Senior Pastor of Dynamis Church, Abuja where Osinachi was fellowshipping and known as an outstanding gospel singer.
From information gathered by these two prominent Nigerians as disclosed in the public space, it was highly revealing and incontrovertible that Osinachi died a victim of domestic violence. Much has been revealed as to how she suffered cruelty in the hands of a husband who promised before God and man to love and cherish her.
Regrettably, such revelations have come rather too late as the gospel singer never wanted any of such to be made known to her pastor, family, friends and the larger public all in attempt to save her marriage from any collapse or public criticism. She obviously forgot that life comes before marriage. As a Christian, she was afraid of divorce but she took her religiosity too far by sacrificing her life at the altar of marriage.
Now, much as Nigerians of repute are interested in her case with the husband the alleged suspect in the circumstance now in police custody, nothing can be done to undo what has gone wrong. While some concerned Nigerians who cherish her music mourn her soberly, others dismiss her death as a suicide mission of sort since she had all the opportunities to extricate herself from the ‘strange’ marriage but she refused to do so, in the name of saving her marriage. Not even her pastor has the passion to urge her to remain in a marriage relationship that clearly manifested deadly tendencies. Perhaps, that was why she chose to keep to herself even till death.
As Nigerians variously comment on the Osinachi tragedy, some common lessons for all to learn centre on the fact that one, marriage is not a do or die affair. The era of “for better for worse” is certainly no longer tenable because the worse here literarily means death. Two, women or men who suffer violence in the hands of their partners should not conceal such tendency for too long. Any abnormal tendencies that create discomfort for any partner in a relationship should be made known to the relevant parties who can step in, to settle the difference. Concealment as Osinachi had done is deadly and quite evident in her own case.
Domestic Violence is one crime that has now become rampart in contemporary times which is seriously threatening the marriage institution in a manner never known in history. Though governments at various levels are collaborating with some non state actors to criminalize it and make it a heavily punishable offence in our society, yet the spate of its occurrence has continued to escalate.
Time has therefore come for more sensitisation on the dangers of domestic violence. Every platform including the church and other social circles should be at the vanguard of crusading against the phenomenon. Church authorities should not place more emphasis on divorce than the danger of violent co-existence. There must be a paradigm shift that should constantly remind all and sundry the criminality in indulging in domestic violence.