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Why wives’ attacks on husbands are on the rise

  • ‘Infidelity, Alien Cultures, Poor Upbringing Responsible’
  • Government Must Make Laws to Regulate Marriage – Prof Fagge, Dr Bashir

The picture of Aliyu Ibrahim recuperating in a hospital bed in Danbatta Local Government last week after suffering an alleged attack from his wife, added to the gory mosaic of a wave of attacks by wives on their husbands in Kano State.

His wife, Aisha Ali, angered by his plan to take a new wife, allegedly poured hot water on him, scalding his genital.

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Ibrahim’s shocking story is the latest coming out of the state, just about three weeks after another housewife was accused of stabbing her husband in the stomach.

Sa’id Hussain’s 21-year-old wife, Fatima Musa Hamza, popularly known as Hannan, was said to have launched the knife attack on her husband in an attempt to retrieve her phone from him. Her family accused the husband of battery. This line and an accompanying video released by her family purportedly showed evidence of the alleged abuse.

Speaking for the first time since the June 22 attack, Hussain denied the allegation, and in turn accused his wife of infidelity, saying he caught her sending nude videos to her “boyfriends.”

While Fatima has been charged to court and is presently on bail, Aisha is being investigated at the Kano police command’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

For their respective husbands, the fact that they are alive is a good reason for them to be happy, which is not for other spouses who have fallen victims of wives’ rage.

Rising attacks raising worries

The rising trend of domestic violence among couples that sometimes lead to death or inflicting of grievous injuries on the victims has remained a source of worry, not only to authorities but also to many communities in Kano State, Daily Trust on Sunday gathered.

Investigations revealed that many of these cases, some of them not reported in the media, are handled and charged to courts by the police, Hisbah (state shari’ah police), and some are taken directly to the courts by the affected parties. It was learnt that while some are resolved at the family level, those that could not be handled at that level mostly end in courts.

One of the pronounced domestic cases that occurred in Kano recently is that of a 15-year-old housewife, Hasana Lawan, of Bechi village, in Kumbotso Local Government Area, who was arrested by the police over the allegation of poisoning her 33-year-old husband, Malam Sale Abubakar.

Hasana was said to have served her husband food laced with rat poison, popularly called Shinkafar Bera. Fortunately, Malam Abubakar was rushed to the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano where he received medical treatment and survived the attack.

The suspect was charged to court for murder. Her trial is still on, Daily Trust on Sunday learnt.

In another court in the state, Rashida Saidu Mohammed is standing trial for allegedly killing her husband, Adamu Ali, over phone conversation with a lady suspected to be his girlfriend. The incident occurred in Dorayi Quarters of Gwale Local Government Area of Kano State.

Rashida was said to have thrown her husband off a 2-storey building, resulting in his death. The deceased, it was gathered, suffered a fracture in the neck from the incident and was rushed to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, where doctors confirmed him dead.

According to the police public relations officer, Kano State command, DSP Haruna Abdullahi, “The man struggled with her and found his way out of the room to the railed verandah, where he continued with conversation. However, Rashida followed him and engaged him again. She overpowered him, probably because she was huge and threw him off the 2-storey building and had his neck broken.”

Rashida was arraigned before Justice A.T Badamasi of the state High Court and hearing into the matter has since commenced. Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that four witnesses testified before the court during the last sitting and the case was adjourned to October 29, 2019.

Again, another housewife, Sadiya Abubakar, of Yakasai Quarters in Municipal Local Government Area of the state was arrested by the police and arraigned before the same judge for allegedly poisoning her husband.

Hearing for the case has since commenced. During the last sitting, the court was adjourned to October 15, 2019 for continuation. The defense counsels are expected to bring a doctor to testify before the court.

  Aliyu Ibrahim, a victim of hot water attack by his wife in Kano
Aliyu Ibrahim, a victim of hot water attack by his wife in Kano

A youth, Mustapha Mustapha, told Daily Trust on Sunday that the rising trend of domestic violence, where a spouse, especially women would inflict grievous injuries that sometimes lead to death her partner was worrisome.

Mustapaha claimed that it had become the trend in the state since one Rahma Husain stabbed her husband to death in 2016 in Darmanawa Quarters in the state.

He pointed at poor upbringing as being behind the problem. “We must admit the fact that many children are now the victims of poor upbringing by their parents. Secondly, the Hausa society has bastardized the institution of marriage. This is only because marriage is no longer regarded as an act of worship to the Almighty God, but a means of satisfying one’s sexual urge and an avenue for enjoyment and luxury, which will naturally not last long.

“Again, when a daughter is being married off to a suitor, parents, especially mothers, nowadays do not enlighten their daughters on how to live a married life in accordance with Islamic injunctions. They rather teach them how to manipulate the relationship for self-aggrandizement. They teach them not to be subservient to their husbands.”

Another factor was prevalence of forced marriages, with girls being married off against their wishes as a result of parents’ desire to get their daughters married by all means in order to avoid societal criticisms about not being able to marry off their daughters.

“Also, the issue of drug abuse has played a significant role in domestic violence nowadays. It is no longer news that the youth, including the married ones, are engaged in taking drugs, which negatively changes their behaviours. Under the influence of drugs, we see how a husband assaults his wife, and vice versa.

The commissioner of police, Kano State command, Alhaji Iliyasu Ahmed, traced the major causes of violence among couples in the state to frustration, depression, influence of drugs and friends, among others. He said the police was determined to check the problem and other crimes worrying the society.

A Hisbah Assistant Commander-General, Guidance and Counselling, Alhaji Wasi’u Muhammad Jinjiri, attributed the root causes to moral decadence in the society and how marriages were contracted.

“If a wife was well brought up she would not even engage in physical combat with the husband, but rather reports him directly to her parents or even the Hisbah Board,” he said.

Most of these cases happen, according to him, because the husband wants to take another wife at a time the family is in need of basic necessities. He said the Board was able to settle many of such minor cases amicably.

The chairperson of the Kano State chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Huwaila Muhammad Ibrahim, said the society, parents, couples and authorities were not playing their roles properly, hence the increasing cases of domestic violence, especially among couples.

“Let me give you an example with a case of domestic violence, which I am handling presently and which involves couples. The woman had never complained to her parents about what her husband had been doing to her since they got married, until recently when they had a serious fight that led to her injuring her husband. The whole issue exploded and the parents realised that their daughter had suffered in silence.

“Many women can endure such humiliation for some time, but anytime they revolt, it sometimes leads to bad result, including murder or something close to that, which is unfortunate,” she said.

She added that the serious decadence the society is facing was another contributing factor to the trend, advising Islamic scholars and community leaders to work towards changing the situation through enlightenment.

Huwaila said until parents, couples, scholars and community leaders come back to their senses and start plying their roles properly, the future of the younger generation would continue to remain at risk.

Agreeing with some of the identified causes, the Chief Imam of Alfurqan Juma’at mosque in Kano, Dr Bashir Aliyu, said proper upbringing, lack of adherence to the teachings of Islam and ignorance about marriage were to blame. He said it was unfortunate that nowadays, most of the marriages are not contracted on the basis of Islam, saying, “What I mean by that is that most of the activities taking place during our marriages are not in conformity with Islam. You can see a bride kissing a groom in public. This is not in conformity with teachings of Islam and we should not expect such marriages to last if we are to be honest to ourselves.

“Again, most of the youth, both male and female, do not even understand marriage itself. The husband cannot tell you the rights of his wife over him, just as the wife cannot tell the rights of her husband over her. Another factor is that you can find a married woman having affairs with other men outside or a husband having affairs with other girls, apart from his wife.

“Of course, any husband that engages in such affairs with other girls should not expect his wife to be happy with him. And she will not take it lightly with him. Also, any wife that is having affairs with other men should expect her husband to be angry with her. And he will take any measure to prevent such affairs. If the husband or wife is not educated enough, he/she can take any measure, including taking laws into their hands to stop such affairs. And this can lead to anything.

“These are the kinds of things we have addressed in a proposed family law, which the Emir of Kano Malam Muhammad Sanusi ll conceived, and which will soon be presented to the Kano State Government for passage. So, if the law would be allowed to work on anybody that is found wanting in violating his partner’s rights, this problem will certainly be reduced in our society,” Dr Aliyu explained.

Towing the same line, the Hisbah Assistant Commander General, Jinjiri, said there must be a return to the dictates of Shari’ah, lamenting that proliferation of event centres in the society where all forms of immoralities were taking place in the name of wedding ceremony was one of the reasons why the society was facing such problems.

  Sa’id Hussain, a victim of wife’s knife attack in Kano
Sa’id Hussain, a victim of wife’s knife attack in Kano

He said the government, especially at the state level, must take serious measures to curtail this menace caused by event centres, adding, “Though it is allowed to celebrate marriages in Islam, it is moderated, not as it is happening now by imitating Western cultures.

“Religious scholars must do more in admonishing the society, especially by calling the attention of those in authority to realise how heavy their task is as leaders, and whatever happens, they are going to give account before their creator.”

A professor of Sociology in the Bayero University, Kano (BUK), Aminu Muhammad Fagge, said the major causes of this kind of new trend of domestic violence, especially among couples include tradition, economy, psychological problems, globalisation and the roles of the mass media.

Professor Fagge explained that people were gradually abandoning their cultures and adopting Western and other domestic cultures that are different from theirs.

“If you look at our marriage critically, you will discover that we have polluted our culture with some foreign values. These foreign values could be from Western cultures or domestic cultures, such as Yoruba, Igbo or other cultures that are not ours.

“Our marriage culture is gradually being eroded, therefore, making our marriage too expensive and these foreign cultures which tend to make our women superiors to their husbands eroded the respect between husbands and wives.”

Another factor responsible for the trend, he said, was the ambition of women to always have control over their husbands.

“After cultural pollution is mental disorder. A lot of people have mental problems, which sometimes could manifest in their early life. This could be genetic or a result of depression. So, if unfortunately, a wife or husband has this kind of problem, that person can turn violent on any minor provocation and anything can happen. And the economy always triggers this kind of violence.”

Professor Fagge, therefore, suggested that until government intervenes and comes up with solutions to problems affecting our marriage life, things would never be corrected. “The problem is that our government has no hand in our marriage affairs and if we really want to get it right, government must come up with laws that guide people on how to conduct themselves and live a better life in marriage.”

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