Linus OOTA, Lafia
The entire Abena community in Doma Local Government Area, Nasarawa State, is in mourning mood since a housewife,
Rosemary Osegba Chem, hacked her mother-in-law, Mrs Ashi Chem, to death over the latter’s alleged undue interference in the former’s marriage.
Sensing that her marriage to Mr Abaagu Chem was on the verge of collapse on account of her mother-in-law’s undue influence, Rosemary decided that the only way to save her marriage was to kill her mother-in-law.
Rosemary had got married to Chem, a farmer and petty trader, in February 2016, but the marriage was yet to produce a child. Now 43 years old, Mr. Chem, the only son of his parents, had lost his father when he was only 18 years old.
Chem’s mother was said not to have hidden her objection to her son’s marriage with Rosemary from day one. Although Chem was madly in love with his heartthrob, his mother allegedly swore never to allow the marriage to work.
Since Chem defied her mother to marry Rosemary, there has been no love lost between his wife and his mother. Every petty matter was easily amplified into a major issue, resulting in a quarrel and physical combat in many cases.
In the circumstance, Chem’s mother allegedly mounted pressure on her son to take another wife, describing Rosemary as a witch because of her inability to give birth to a child three years after she got married to Chem. She also allegedly threatened to curse her son if he failed to end his union with Rosemary.
The pressure was said to have become so much that Chem was beginning to yield to his mother’s bidding. Faced with the grim reality of losing her marriage, Rosemary fetched an axe in the early hours of Saturday, March 18, 2020, walked into her mother-in-law’s room and hacked her to death in her asleep.
Our correspondent, who visited Abena community immediately he learnt about the incident, met the old woman in a pool of blood.
‘Why I killed her’
Asked why she decided to take her mother-in-law’s life, Rosemary said the deceased woman was a threat to her marriage. She narrated how her mother-in-law called her names and wanted to chase her out of her matrimonial home simply because she was yet to give birth to a child after three years.
She said: “My mother-in-law made life unbearable for me because I could not bear a child for her son. It has been hell for me from day one of this marriage. My mother-in-law did everything humanly possible for me to leave the marriage.
“She always swore that if indeed she was my husband’s mother, she would not allow the marriage to work. I did everything humanly possible to appease her, but it was all to no avail.”
“She insisted that I must leave the house and that her son must get married to another girl. True to her threats, she went as far as getting another girl for my husband.
“I also blame my husband for telling his mother everything about our private matters, including sex, finance and other issues. My husband always complained that I refused him sex most times, even though I told him that I’m not the type that likes to have sex all the time.
“I don’t have sexual feelings like other women because I was circumcised. But I told him I loved him. We had sex only once in a week, but he couldn’t bear it, and he told his mother who had already developed hatred for me about it.
“My husband decided to focus his attention on the new girlfriend his mother brought for him. Most times, the girl would spend a whole week in my mother-in-law’s apartment with the consent of my husband. When I could no longer bear it, I took the decision to eliminate her so that I can save my marriage.
“I still love my husband and cannot afford to share him with anybody. It is God that gives children. I strongly believe that one day, I will also take in and deliver. It is all in God’s hands.
“She accused me openly of cheating on his son by calling me all sorts of names, which is embarrassing to me. I was ashamed of myself even moving around. I don’t know what I did to her. The trauma and
intimidation became unbearable for me, so I was forced to kill her before she would disgrace me out of my husband’s house.
“My parents are no longer alive. If she gets me out of this marriage, where will I go? Ordinarily, I don’t have much problem with my husband. We always have a way of settling our issues. But her interference was overbearing.
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“In the midst of these, my husband, who used to love me so much suddenly changed and was completely obeying his mom’s directives and I watched him sleep with the proposed girl by his mother, it was clear that he does not have feelings for me anymore.
I took the decision (to kill her) because I was ready for the worst. The marriage had become boring and characterized by crisis, courtesy of my mother in law.
“At a point, it became obvious to me that the marriage had irretrievably broken up. I suggested to my husband that since he was convinced by what his mother was telling him, he should let us call it over and I would move on, but he refused. So I concluded that killing her would stabilise my marriage and restore my happiness.
“I hatched the plan for some time but only made up my mind to execute it today.”
Why I yielded to my mother’s promptings —Husband
Rosemary insisted that she had no regrets whatsoever for her action and was prepared for the worst, adding that she had not known peace since she got married to Chem.
But Chem, who looked so confused over the turn of events, told our correspondent that he loved his mum a lot. “She taught me to be the man that I am today—strong, kind and someone who believed in giving a second chance.
“When my father died, things were not easy, but this woman stood by me to survive the trauma.
“I am really hurt and traumatised by the violent and horrifying act she committed.
“My mother was compassionate and caring. Never did I doubt her unconditional love for me. She had taught me to dream and ultimately to live unselfishly.
“My mother was not wicked or cold-blooded as my wife is painting her. I used to tell her to be calm, but she refused. What does she want me to do? To fight my mother who gave birth to me?
“Now that she has killed my mother, she will be the one to tell me what she wants, and at the appropriate time, I will battle it out with her. I won’t take it lightly.”