WIDOW ORDEAL IN NIGERIA
RE : 56 YEARS OF MARRIAGE, WIDOWED AND BANISHED FROM HOME AT THE AGE OF 73.
I tearfully bring to your attention a case of injustice, humiliation, dispossession of my legitimately earned belongings, inheritance from my late husband and banishment from my home and community, after 56 years of marriage to my husband, Prince J.A. Ayuk who died on August 13th 2009.
The nature of the matter involved, my age, health and economic conditions prompted my soliciting your intervention as I do not know who or where to turn to for justice.
My contact: +2347068072872.
My ordeal and predicament began thus:
My name is Lucy Afu Ayuk, the only surviving and weded wife of Prince Jerome Afu Ayuk of No. 1Echi Njok street, Bendeghe Ekiem village in Etung local government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria. West Africa.
The problem started as soon as my husband died when two of my step sons: Owan Afu Ayuk (a teacher in Etung comprehensive secondary school Bendeghe Ekiem village) and Mgboki Afu Ayuk (a deputy superintendent of police[ DSP], in the police officer’s wife association ,[POWA.] Nigerian police force headquarters Abuja) threatened to prevent their father (my husband) from being buried if I do not produce his will and his bank account details. I could not produce any will since my late husband never wrote or left any; neither was I able to produce his account details, as there was none. It was therefore agreed by family members that no will should be honored by them after the burial.
Let me state here that no will emerged even as at the point of this my cry because to the best of my knowledge, my late husband did not make any.
My husband and I owned a vast cocoa and palm plantation / several housing estate and plots of land both in the village and in Ikom town. My husband
( a then big time cocoa farmer who won the second price of the year’s best cocoa farmer award, 1980) allocated a portion of the plantation to me, the evident of which the allocation ceremony/ traditional transfer of ownership is videotaped with some members of the family as witnesses. The apartment I leaved in with my husband for over forty (40) years and even my kitchen/store outside the house are all taken away from me even before the elapse of the mourning period.
My farm is the only means of lively hood I have.
My step son, the DSP Mgboki mounted enormous pressure on me to relinquish these properties by midnight phone threat to my life, saying that I should die so that he will give me a befitting burial if not that he will make sure I leave my husband’s house before the end of the year. Another time he abused me saying, is the mourning not over ?, why don’t you go and remarry after all my father is dead, what are still doing here ? !. I then asked him to whom at 73 years of age. Notwithstanding that it runs contrary to my husband’s wish as he instructed me before his death, never to leave his house no matter what. I became so troubled in my mind that the worries heightened my blood pressure.
Shortly after, my palm oil making machine that cost fortune was removed just to make sure they eliminate my only source of feeding and taking care of myself.
After the mourning period, I went to my farm and harvested the palm fruits for making palm oil that I sell to make a living but my step son who is now late came into my farm and cease all my harvest, and called in the police to arrest and lock me up in addition. I was bailed, there after the police blamed him for his action because they said he referred to me as the woman until I told them he was my step son. They now advised him to allow me to carry my harvest and warned him to let me be.
The second time I went to continue with my harvest, he again came around and collected all I have harvested, at this my age of 73 I could not physically challenge him so I went back to the same police station to complain but was told by the police that I should consult a lawyer that there is nothing police can do. This because the DSP has influenced his colleagues after being briefed by his step brother.
Based on this frustration, I reported the matter to the women commission in calabar the state capital who wrote to them : Mgboki Afu Ayuk ( the dsp), Owan Afu Ayuk including my brother in law, Daniel Ewor Abangwho is out to avenge on an offence I never committed .
My brother in law went and lied to them that he has settled the issues. Rather than the commission finding out from me , they did nothing again irrespective of my several protest to them for inaction, still nobody listened to me. And my two step sons never showed up at the commission.
All these problems are orchestrated by my brother in law who accuses me of not allowing his late senior brother (my husband) to train his children in school. He saw the brother’s death as an avenue to avenge by conniving with my step sons to cease the little my husband gave to me for my up keep, the vast cocoa and palm plantation/ housing estate/plots of land my husband left at their disposal for shearing among themselves notwithstanding.
The truth is that my husband was a retired veteran soldier of the 2nd world war, by this, he was a very difficult man for any woman to manage except one with special gift of infinite tolerance, hence, is not surprising every other wife left the marriage. How on earth could it be possible for a man of this strong character and self willed to be influenced into not helping a brother. I never did. He backed my step sons because they promised to rebuild his burnt house should he side them. This same brother in law collected the sum of fifty thousand naira (N50, 000.00) from me saying it is traditionally his entitlement as the rightful one to disburse his late brother’s property to the members of his family. He is aware that a portion of that farm is mine that’s why he collected the money from me but when he came under severe pressure and the promise , he declined.
My step son Owan last three months died of stroke, capture by a complication of high blood pressure and diabetes as diagnosed by joint hospital Ikom. Could you believe that my step son Mgboki (the dsp) and my brother in law Daniel Ewor Abang jointly accused me of using witchcraft to kill Owan , they even went ahead to say that I was behind the death of my step daughter who died two years ago in motor accident, all in the bid of finding a way to deprive me of my only means of lively hood my husband left for me.
They went and reported to the chief and council of the village saying that I should swear a fetish oath. Initially , I obliged so as to exonerate myself though it runs contrary to my Christian faith and believes. A date was chosen and I came out to the chief and council on the said date but surprisingly after better part of the day neither my brother in law, step son nor the mother of the deceased appeared, the deceased mother declined saying she is a night of the catholic church and will not want to be evolved in anything fetish, that her son died of stroke as the hospital said. My oppressors now side tract the deceased mother, went to the chief again that I must swear. My step son(the police d.s.p) is well feared in our village ,especially when he brandishes his service pistol on his waist and talks with fierce voice being highly temperamental, no body dare talks when he does, hence intimidating every body.
They sent for me but I learnt they have planned for me to drink water used in washing the dead body of Owan, my late son and chew the cut off finger and toe nails.
This time around the money leased from the farm estate coupled with the force man’s syndrome heavily influenced people’s judgment .
At this point I said no, I cannot swear or drink any thing again. I am the mother of the catholic church and catholic women leader, I have severally opposed these practices but now they found a good corner to pin me down. This particular day in the village square was traumatic for me at my age of 73, I felt I could be lynched but thank God, our parish priest Rev. Father Bassey Ojie, who came visiting the village stopped on seeing the gathering to inquire what was the problem, having learnt what it was, insisted that his convert will do no such thing. The police dsp then threaten to bit the rev. Father up but for the intervention of the catholic faithful around. The priest then sensing that my life was in danger now pushed me into his car and drove off to Ikom town , the parish office. He advised that I should keep off the village as my life is in danger.
Two weeks later, they sent a message saying in my own interest to come and swear or they will take a decision on me. They now performed the ceremony of banishment and a message was sent to me never to return to Bendeghe again that I have been banished. People then started calling me confirming to me that I have been banished.
I am now homeless, without source of livelihood.
All these keeps my blood pressure high , how do I get to buy my life support medications without my farm (my only source of income) ? .
Under what influence was the chief of my village , Ntue Etta Tawo when he adjudged my banishment .
Is it the truth that the force man’s syndrome caught virtually every member of the council that the chief was advised wrongly to act unconstitutionally ?.
Where are the educated and enlighten men and women of bendeghe that 18th century inhuman act carried on widow’s which has since been abolished by other towns are still being practiced in this village ?.
Help me people of goodwill to get back home !.
Help me for humanity sake to get back my farm to enable the purchase of my daily pressure piles ! .
Help me to ask the police (dsp) to stop tormenting me and my life !
Help me to ask my chief to restore my right to leave in the part of the world where I was born !.
People help me !!!.