By Enyeribe Ejiogu ([email protected]) and Henry Okonkwo
Nigerians have risen in fiery and stout condemnation of the abominable sexual liaison that took place between a mother-in-law and her son-in-law in Nasarawa State, which eventually resulted in a pregnancy.
In a striking consensus of views, several Nigerians held the singular opinion that nothing must be done to tamper with the pregnancy, as doing so would amount to adding evil of murder to the sin of adultery.
The son-in-law (‘the man’) and mother-in-law (‘the woman’) were variously described with uncomplimentary epithets. The man was dismissed as a beast and he-goat that fully deserves to be castrated while the woman was described as a wanton Jezebel, wicked and wayward.
However, the principal victim in the sex-escapade, the wife of the man and daughter of the woman, was praised for demonstrating a forgiving spirit and her firm resolve not to dump the marriage.
Below, some of the respondents to the survey conducted by Sunday Sun speak more on the unfortunate incident.
CHIMA CHUKWUNYERE, chairman, Imo State Police Community Relations Committee.
First of all, it is on record that the woman (mother-in-law) and the son-in-law committed abomination. Whether it was the woman that seduced the son-in-law or the son-in-law that initiated it, the fact still remains that it was an abominable act, a gross iniquity. Now that their iniquitous and repeated sexual intercourse has resulted in a pregnancy, it is the responsibility of the three people involved, the man, the wife and the mother-in-law to sit down and decide what will be done with the child when he/she is born. I understand that the wife is still willing to continue with the marriage.
So the big question they should answer is this: will the child be put in a foster home, given up for adoption or the woman (mother-in-law) will raise the child with or without the support of the couple. The woman that is pregnant has a major role to play in the decision: what does she want to do with the baby to be born? Abortion is completely out of the question – it absolutely must not be mentioned or even whispered at all. Abortion is pure murder and nobody should suggest it at all. The pregnant woman must decide for herself how she will raise the child, if the man and the wife are kind enough to support her in doing this. If they say they will not support her, then the woman should go and bear the pains of raising the child. That is part of the financial, physical and psychological pains and sufferings she has to go through for sleeping with the son-in-law.
As far as I am concerned, you can call the woman a Jezebel. It is evident that the man is not a believer. The only thing one can say about the man is that he has a beastly nature. He is simply a beast. Any man without Christ has a beastly nature and it can manifest anytime. Such a person has no conscience. There are lots of men who do not know God, but their decency would not permit them to seek the nakedness of their mother-in-law not talk of going to bed with her as this man did. It was purely abominable.
The man’s wife should be given a price, an award, for saying that she wants to continue with the marriage. Based on the scriptural injunction in the bible, the woman has a right to divorce the husband – that would not be sin. Instead, what we find is a woman with a forgiving spirit, a woman with a large heart, despite all the insult of her own mother sleeping with the husband, and she is still willing to forgive and continue with the marriage. She needs an award. If the man realizes that he did an abominable thing and truly repents, and apologises to his wife, I believe that God will also forgive him. God will be glorified in the whole incident.
Pastor Ikechukwu Kanu, Deputy General Overseer, Evangel Pentecostal Church, Okota, Lagos.
First, nothing must be done to tamper with the pregnancy, absolutely nothing. She should give birth to the baby. We pray that God will keep her strong and healthy to bring forth the baby. If she is sober and sorry for what has happened, she should be forgiven and encouraged and given maximum support to make sure that she delivers that baby. This will ensure that she will not do anything to harm the child in the womb.
Her daughter has taken a bold step to say that she would not allow what happened to make her dump her marriage. It was a good decision. However, she should still be faulted for taking her husband and the mother for granted. I want to believe that she ought to have known the character of her mother and her husband. So somehow there was a gap that allowed the abominable thing to happen. I would not know whether they are believers or unbelievers, but in any culture, it is a taboo for sexual relations to happen between a mother-in-law and her son-in-law or between a man and his daughter-in-law. The man in this case is actually a he-goat that should be rebuked and sanctioned. The claim that the mother-in-law was half dressed and always sat seductively is not tenable. By the way, why should he eat together with his mother-in-law in the absence of his wife? Something is wrong about the morality of that man.
What has happened has become a kind of stigma and they have to manage it properly. My advice for the wife is that she should be willing to adopt the baby when born, nurse the baby and raise the baby as her husband’s child without the involvement of the mother. The reason is that if the mother is involved and the husband continues to visit her because of the baby, there is the tendency that illicit sexual liaison would continue and then set the stage for the marriage to breakdown.
ROMANUS NDEHIGWO IDIROKO, businessman and regular commentator on national issues
It is a double mistake. Killing the child through abortion will be another gross sin. They do not have the power to take the life that God has created. There is no way, the child can be aborted. The woman must keep the pregnancy and give birth to the baby. The child must bear the name of the woman’s late husband because the son-in-law cannot claim the child as his own unless he goes to return the dowry paid by the dead husband to his family and then pays fresh dowry on the woman. By African culture, even if the woman gives birth to one million children after the husband’s death, the children belong to him as long as the woman did not formally remarry and dowry paid. The fact that they are from Nasarawa State does not change the African cultural practice. What I said is the way it is done in Igbo land. I don’t believe the culture would be much different in Nasarawa State.
The daughter of the woman who said that she wants to continue with the marriage is an excellent person, and intelligent human being. She is to be commended for her positive disposition, which I must say is rare. It is a wonderful demonstration of wisdom on her part. She took the wisest decision in the whole matter. I love the way she said that nothing would separate her from her husband not even the act of her foolish mother. The devil wanted to destroy her marriage through the sinful act between the husband and the mother, but she resolved that the devil would not succeed by deciding to stick to the husband and strengthen her marriage. My prayer is that God will sustain her with grace to do as she has said.
The mother-in-law showed clearly that she is a morally depraved and weak human being. There is no spirit of God in her. She behaved like a dog. She should live with the shame for the rest of her life. The same thing applies to the man, he must be he-goat. In fact, he should be castrated. He must be an animal by claiming that of all the women on earth, only his mother-in-law seduced him. The spirit of the dog took control of him, and pushed him to do what he did. There are so many women out there, why sleep with his mother-in-law? Both of them are controlled by the spirit of lust. This is another manifestation of the end-time agenda of the devil, to destroy millions of people through the spirit of lust. The devil has a mission and target, but many will not look at what happened in this manner.
LADY EDITH OLUCHI IGWE, Principal of the Centre for Continuing Education, Owerri, Imo State.
The pregnant woman is obviously wayward. She should go and take care of herself, and stay away from the daughter’s home so that she can enjoy her husband. What she did is despicable and abominable.
MRS CHINELO UGWU, postgraduate student
I would say a big ‘No’ to terminating the life of an unborn child because of irresponsibility of some adults. It doesn’t make sense to me. I would agree if the mother is ostracized. That is if what the man said is true, it then means she seduced him.
However, the man’s excuse is not tenable. He should have let his wife know when the mother-in-law started her tricks. So he is culpable.
I would recommend that to bring back peace in the home, the daughter must be willing to forgive if the husband is truly sorry. Then the mother-in-law like I said earlier should be ostracized. She has no shame. Once the baby is born, the couple should adopt him/her as theirs.
PRINCESS IFEDOYIN OLATUBOSUN, social worker
I would suggest that the mother-in-law should just go and abort the pregnancy, because they have already messed up the child’s future with the shameful act.
On the mother in-law, I don’t think there’s any need to ostracize or curse her. The harm has already been done. I suggest the community should find what she should do to cleanse the land. Among some tribes she may need to perform some traditional rites in other to appease the gods or face the elders’ council, who know what to do in such situation, and then counsel the woman.
On the man, I don’t believe he has any reason for the devilish abomination and disgrace he has brought upon himself and his family.
I don’t know how and why daughters should keep their mothers away from their husbands, because it is hard to know those that can be tempted and moved to do this kind of evil act. Despite that, I can’t agree that mothers-in-law should be far from their daughters’ husbands. But they should be more cautious, and try not to be too close with the husband most especially when the mother-in-law is young and attractive. The wife should not leave housework or chores that can bring too much closeness with the husband. For example, allowing her mother to cook for the husband, or to make the matrimonial bed for the husband.
I really fear if that house would ever know peace again. I’m sure the wife would feel betrayed and could find it hard to forgive and ever trust her husband and mother again. The emotional scar and pain of this incident on the wife would be very difficult to heal.
ALHAJI RASHEED AWOFESO, social worker
Honestly I think it would be a very bad idea for the mother in-law to keep the pregnancy. She should not play up religious beliefs for not aborting the pregnancy unless she is willing to break the matrimonial home of her own daughter. It is an abomination.
She should not have the baby, because it is not normal. How can you carry and have a child for the husband of your daughter? Are we really sure she is the real mother of the lady? If she is the biological mother then keeping the pregnancy is a shame to the family. And it is a story that would always follow the lineage of their family. Although they may want to turn it to family secret but if the baby is kept, the daughter could always be hurt anytime she sees the child. And she’ll never be happy with her mother and her husband throughout her life. So to do some damage control and save the family from everlasting shame, the baby should be aborted.
Evangelist Onyekachi Nwankwo, Teaching minister, AMEN Charismatic Ministry
I suggest that since conception has taken place, the baby should not be aborted. I won’t recommend abortion at all. The mother-in-law should go ahead and have the baby and then reach an understanding with the daughter and son-in-law, for them to adopt and take care of the child. That would be the best thing to do.
Then there should be a high level move by either the community or religious leaders to intervene and reconcile the family. It is very important that forgiveness, peace and love are brought back to the family for them to move forward with their lives. Then they must make the abominable incident a family secret and stop telling people about it.
Both the man and mother-in-law are lustful and they need the spirit of God in their lives. The man is irresponsible and lacks self control so he should go for intensive counseling, because tomorrow, he might still go and sleep with another woman in future. His excuse of blaming the mother-in-law is not tenable at all. He should have said ‘No’ to the antics of the mother-in-law if what he’s saying is true. He was the one that loosened his belt and had sex with his own mother in-law. Hence he has no shame and self-control.