“Why I separated from my husband’

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Hon. Adetayo Ramat Rachael Oseni is a princess. She is the daughter of His Royal Highness, Oba Oseni of Ibaland. A former member of Lagos House of Assembly, and former chairman of Iba LCDA, she came in the news recently when her husband alleged that she was the reason why they broke up. She, however, decided to clear the air on her marital issues and domestic violence, in this interview with the editor, FOLORUNSHO HAMSAT. Excerpt…
 
There was a report against you by your husband. What led to this?
Firstly, I do not believe that marital issues should be on newspapers because it is a very private issue, especially when children are involved.
But, it is important to put the records straight especially when he has decided to continue to publish lies against me.
I met my husband sometime around 1998, but got married in 2001.  After my NCE, I had admission to further my studies at Lagos State University, then he was a part-time lecturer without salary when we met. People even tagged us Romeo and Juliet because he was always dotting on me.
It was difficult to tell my father that the man I am involved with, had no job, so I had to beg Alhaji Lai Mohammed, then as Chief of Staff in Lagos government who gave us a letter to get him permanent employment. He was employed by the Ministry of Information. But all this period, he would complain that he is not comfortable with the job and that he prefers lecturing. My father also used his influence to make things work for him through the help of Late Prof. Akesode, the Vice Chancellor. He would always boast that if he had not studied nor has certificates, will my father assist him in getting a job? My husband was squatting with his cousin; a devoted Christian before he fell out with him, and had to move to a friend’s apartment. His cousin complained of late nights and heavy drinking.
He was interested in marriage, and I can’t imagine us squatting, so I provided funds for a two-bedroom apartment and that was the beginning of our journey. We got married, and later, he decided to bring in his mother, who was then like a mother to me. After that, few other members of his family also came to stay with us and I said I can not tolerate that and he became angry. My reason was because, he has no money to provide for us, yet he was adding more burden on us. It was the money I earned as House of Assembly member that we all relied upon. So, I said I can allow his mother, but not a graduate that is above 30 years, that it is better for her to secure a job or at least, set her up in business rather than be a burden on us. The same mother of his, who used to be nice to me would start hurling insults at me, saying I should give birth to a child because, I am the one denying his son of having children. The moment my husband started making money, his attitude changed and he would beat me up at the slightest provocation. I have had a dislocation from beatings when I was three months pregnant.
 
At what point did you leave the house?
I had to vacate the house on many occasions. When the beating got to a point, I left for my parents’ house and later returned. After completing my Ijanikin home, I also moved there before returning to him, then again to my parents’ house, before he came  and ordered me back, but I said we needed some form of privacy and I decided to rent another house for both of us at No 9, Abiolu Street, Igando. Later, he brought his younger ones who are grown ups, and the same problem ensued. He even ejected me from the house I used my funds to rent. I had to go to my parents’ house till I completed a property I had at Ijanikin, and moved there. On another occasion, he said I should come back, and ordered me to let out my flat and moved to my quarters at Marwa Gardens after I had given out the Ijanikin to a tenant as he instructed. My marriage has never been peaceful. If we stayed together for a year, we would be separated for another six months at least. All these affected my children and I kept on changing their schools. I have changed the elder of the two for over six times because of my husband’s attitude. I think his greatest problem is that he could not stay without having his family members around him. Each time I moved out, other ones would be brought in. You can imagine about eight grown up people living in a flat. At a point, he brought his brother’s child to live with us. The boy was useful and very close to my children, but I said that at least, I have a right to know that he was bringing another family member in, but he immediately flared up.
 
Did you notice any bad manner in him during your courtship?
I think we women can be blind sometimes. When he was squatting with his cousin, he kept late nights, after hours of drinking, and the man had to throw him out. The moment he secured a job as lecturer, he increased his womanizing and drinking. For instance, while we were married, he was dating a LASU student in our compound. Unfortunately, the lady’s elder brother did not like him because he kept late nights and fought at home. The moment he heard my husband was having affair with his younger sister, he brought in soldiers to beat him up, but our landlord’s brother pleaded with the soldiers, and that was what saved him.
He hardly came home since he was employed as lecturer. He has retinue of undergraduate girlfriends. You can imagine a married man would be talking to his girlfriends on phone while we were in bed and I dared not talk. I was living in hell, and we are like strangers in the same house.
It was so bad that, my landlord’s brother that saved him from soldiers once scolded him that, as a lecturer, he couldn’t understand why he(my husband) behaved like a thug to the extent of trying to break down the gate of the house after coming late and misplacing his key. This was part of what I had to contend with. He came home one day after days outside. I had a friend’s sister with me, while watching a movie and I was eating. On getting in, he took the remote and changed the channel. I told him that we were watching a movie and the next thing I had was a hot slap on my face. He said I broke a plate on his head in the story he was peddling. That day, I almost died and my visitor was embarrassed and had to leave fast.
Aside that, he once beat up my younger sister and the issue became a subject matter within my family because my family believes it is out rightly wrong for someone to beat up his in-law, but he does not care. When my younger brother who was a chairman of ASUU lost his wife, his child was to stay with me but my family members said no, that the child’s education would be affected because I would keep changing the child’s school like that of my children because of my husband. It was a statement of fact, but you know it can be embarrassing. My father who knows the sanctity of marriage, and believes that a lady needs to stay in her marriage, got frustrated once, and said I should take a decision as adult before he kills me. I always went back to him, believing that he would change, not until we got to this point.
 
There was an allegation that you wanted to stab him.
I have no reason to tell lies, and I can tell you that it was true. On this fateful day, he beat me mercilessly and threatened to throw me down from the stairs. I later ran into the kitchen and he came after me. I instantly picked a kitchen knife in self defence and threatened to stab him if he moved close, he then retreated and went back into the room, while I groaned in pain.
Sometime ago, a young girl came to stay with us, but left. She told her people that ‘brother’ is too violent, referring to my husband. He had attempted to strangle me before, but when he noticed I was not asleep, he retreated. How can a man I have two children for, all of a sudden develop hatred for me? He felt we are competing, but how will I compete with a man who I have accepted as my husband? He would call my hypertensive father late in the night sometimes, threatening that he would kill me. This is a man who spent few days at home and could not provide for feeding. A situation where my mother was buying baby milk for our baby, and he was hanging out with girls.
 
Is it true that he wrote a petition against you?
He wrote to my leaders, copied Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and other people that I was embezzling council funds. Why would a man want to destroy his wife’s career out of sheer hatred? He said I should not use his name when I wanted to contest again for my first term as local government election.  Now again, he has come up with another problem because he feels I may contest again. I have been in politics before I met him, and once won election under the then UNCP days, and have remained active in politics till date.
 
At what point did he throw you out?
You see, when I wanted to contest for chairmanship, we always move in groups to our leaders especially Asiwaju Tinubu and Governor Aregbesola because of our effort to secure the party ticket. On this fateful day, we had gone to Asiwaju’s place. And knowing the number of visitors that comes to Asiwaju’s house, we had to wait for a long time to be able to see him. I returned late at night, and he said no one should open the door for me. I pleaded with him but he vehemently refused, saying it has ended. His thought is that, since I have let out my house, I will not have anywhere to stay. I had to go to a hotel to put up for the night when it was obvious that he would not bulge. That was how I came to Marwa Gardens.
 
There were allegations that you were dating K1 the Ultimate, and another politician whose wife once embarrassed you.
It is funny and cheap. Wasiu AYinde(K1)’s manager did a Fuji contest for secondary school students in my constituency. The venue was LASU, and our job was to provide the students and logistics. On the day of the contest, Wasiu was present as a Special Guest, and this made him cook up stories that I spent money on him. By the way, we have been separated for over two years, as at the time.  The other politician is a vice chairman of  Amuwo Odofin. In fact, I have never met his wife, so how could she have disgraced me? I was not even close to the man, but when I read the story, I expected the man to go to the press and state his side or issue statement but the man may not want to join issues with anyone. 
 
So, what do you think is the reason for all these?
I have since discovered that, he is just looking for opportunity to hit back at me. I separated from a man for four years, I have filed a divorce for over two years, and if not for the continuous adjournment, the divorce would have been issued. So, why is he still going to the press against me? He should leave Wasiu Ayinde or others alone and stop calling their names. I was not under his roof for two years when Wasiu Ayinde’s manager did the secondary school contest, so why is he telling lies that it was because of this that he threw me out? I have the right to live my life.
Our marriage crashed after 10 years of many troubles. I have since moved on with my life, but he feels that if I am not married to him again, no man should come near me. I do not even have a plan to remarry, but that is a personal decision.
 
How about the children?
(Pointing to the two boys) As you know, they stay with me, and I always allow my driver to take them to him on weekends. They have no other father, so I cannot deny him that privilege. I thank God I was able to have my two children for him. In actual fact, I was not supposed to get pregnant after having his first son, because I had Caesarian operation, but since he had started misbehaving, I said it was better to have the second one early enough. I had a child when I was in school before I met him. This is the reason why I promised myself not to have kids outside wedlock again, or continue to have children from different fathers, so I had no option but to cope with his attitude for that long.
Let me add this. While we were together, he hardly paid his children’s school fees despite being an educated person. On most occasions, letters of warnings are issued to the children, so I will have to pay but tell the children not to tell him so as to get such money back at times. Now for over four years, I have moved on and I am taking care of my children in peace.
At the moment, I learnt he is not in good terms with his eldest sister that lives in Ibadan. The reason is that, he feels the woman is sympathetic to my cause, and she is not in support of his actions.