Wednesday, 27 June 2012

             I had left home at about twenty minutes past five am on this eventful Tuesday to get to the pick up point. It was an early morning journey to secure a good spot for the day’s interview (I got you there; you probably thought it was a job interview, no, it’s not). I took on a couple of motorcycle journeys to get there. As I concluded the payment protocols with the last commercial motorcyclist (popularly called okadaman in south western Nigeria) and went straight at my phone to call Mr Tayo Ojo in order to inform him of my presence at the agreed location, I noticed a Toyota Camry zooming off past me like lightning out of the cloudy sky on a rainy day. I immediately rang his line, “Hello sir, I am at the junction now”.
The said car came to a screeching halt at this statement, replying that he had just left the spot. I replied saying, “so, you are the one who was speeding through just now” and “yes” was the sharp response. He then asked that I rush down to him. If you were carefully observant, I did not include a “Good morning sir” as that was the least of my cares and he never probably noticed; the business of the day and the timing were predominantly our concerns. Who is Mr Tayo Ojo? Where are we headed? What is our purpose? I shall satisfy your curiosity in a jiffy!

                   Mr Tayo is a big brother, a youth leader in my local assembly and a teaching staff of the high school I graduated from. He has been instrumental in many of the humble exploits I did in the days of yore. Now, back to the matter at hand; On the day preceding this journey, I had gone to pay him a visit at work, we had some nice chat, took ride to his home and played with his beautiful kids. At this juncture, he asked my company to someplace the next morning as early as 6a.m. We were going to the United Kingdom Embassy, Visa application centre, precisely. We were leaving early to secure a good spot for the interview before the characteristic throng of the premises. So the ride began with him speeding through the barely lit roads, more of instinctive driving than distinctive. Shortly afterwards, we were at our destination at Billings way, Oregun, Ikeja. To my dismay, the gate was already swarming with visa-seeking visitors as early as that. I shall get back to this part of the story but Mr Tayo kept making this frantic call to Aminat but her number was out of reach. It was a devastating feeling as it meant all our efforts were just about to go down the drain. She was to be interviewed before getting her visa to join her mum in the United Kingdom.

Many Nigerians desperately want out of the country for greener pastures
            Aminat, a young, less-than-eighteen, high school leaver, is a product of yet another failed marriage; A Broken Home. The mother, having divorced her father is now married to one Mr Ojo who is resident in U.K. as well as a Brit, leaving Aminat and her sibling brother with their father but under the tutelage of Mr Tayo while in high school. Now, Amina had concluded her secondary education and her mum wants her over in Britain but the father would have none of it if aware, so, a game had to be played!

             Meanwhile, we were still trying to reach this young lady on the phone but our efforts were futile. Aminat was aware she should be at the embassy for an interview and as soon as her name was called, we shouldn’t be looking around for her or she be by-passed. The mum called in from London and upon being told the pensive situation we were in, simply explained that she could be finding it difficult to leave home that early, especially since she was done with school for now, lest her father smelt a rat. Finally, she was here and in good time too. The Game Plan: Her step father happens to also go by the surname of my big brother, Ojo, a real coincidence. So, Mr Ojo, the Briton, wrote a letter to the embassy stating that he wants his daughter over with him, adding that she has been in custody of his ‘brother’, Mr Tayo Ojo (Obviously to evade any scenario that would bring in the real father, who is completely oblivious of the on-goings). Fortunately, Mr Ojo, being a British citizen now, has full claims to British rights and so could ask his daughter over with relative ease. The interview went well, she was asked a couple of questions and requested to return for her documents. 

                  However, this story has many sides but I want to concentrate here and now on the spate of failing marriages. When are we going to have an end of divorce? The two children of this broken home have suffered privation of love, parental guidance, care and tutelage. Aminat, at such a young age, has more exposure to life’s harsh sides than many her age mates simply because her parents could not reconcile their differences even if it was for their children’s sake. The children’s loyalty is divided; loving both parents but would inevitably have to hurt one at one point or the other. The spiral effect is more acrimony, more misunderstandings, more fracas, more, more and, of course, more.
Divorce has become a global problem and I would want to feed you in on some available statistics. Here are some statistics on divorce rates in the United States, for example.

The rate of divorce in America is high and it has even reported by various organizations that the rate is 50%. To be more precise, this is not true. Data reveal that the figure is very close to the actual one. However, if current trends continue, soon the figure will reach 50% and even more.
When we discuss about stats, it should be actual and real. US divorce statistics are gathered by a number of diverse agencies, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Centre for Health Statistics, and the independent Americans for Divorce Reform.  The stats are not comprehensive but the figures help a lot in understanding the meaning of divorce in the highly modern society of America. 

When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers most.....think about the kids please!

So, let’s begin with a table of age at marriage for those who want it to end:
Under 20 years old
20 to 24 years old
25 to 29 years old
30 to 34 years old
35 to 39 years old
Divorce Rate Statistics of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Marriages
Various studies on US rate of divorce show significant differences when a comparison is made in 1st, 2nd and 3rd marriage breakups in America. The marriage breakup rate in America for first marriage is 41% to 50%; the rate after second marriage is from 60% to 67% and the rate in America for 3rd marriage are from 73% to 74%. Reports also say that couples with children have a slightly lower rate of breakup as compared to couples without children. This is due to the fact that being childless is one of the prime causes behind divorce in America. However, here are some causes or reasons why couples opt for divorce, according to research;

  • Lack of commitment to the marriage
  • Lack of communication between spouses (actually a leading cause of divorce)
  • Infidelity
  • Abandonment
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Substance abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Inability to manage or resolve conflicts
  • Personality differences or ‘irreconcilable differences.’
  • Differences in personal and career goals
  • Financial problem
  • Different expectations and household tasks
  • Different expectation about having or rearing children
  • Interference from parents or in-laws
  • Lack of maturity
  • Intellectual incompatibility
  • Sexual incompatibility
  • Insistence of sticking to traditional roles and not allowing rooms for personal growth
  • Falling out of love
  • Religious conversion or religious beliefs
  • Cultural and lifestyle differences
  • Inability to deal with each other’s petty idiosyncrasies
  • Mental instability or mental illness
  • Criminal behaviour and incarceration for crime
               Also, the children of divorced parents are prone to divorcing 4 times more than the children of couples who are not divorced. This should scare the life out many of us! Divorce is a wicked act to children and the society.
Definitely not, my little friend!
She probably had little resistance when the homefront broke down
              We need marriages to work and be successful. We need parents to stay together in peace, love and understanding. For the yet-to-be-married, please understand that marriage is a non-exit bond; no room for divorce. As far as the Master Originator of the institution is concerned, these two adults are to remain together till death parts them. The devastating consequences of divorce are far-reaching on the parents, the children and the larger society. From terminated education of the children, to truancy, to gangsterism, armed robbery, prostitution, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, contraction of deadly diseases and premature death. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife and they two shall be ONE. What, therefore, God has joined together, let not man put asunder. This is clear enough!

Regular and sharp misunderstandings are serious danger signs
                  The underlying factors remain that many marriages are contracted upon wrong foundation and as such never last the test of time. Many a marriage was built on stature or physique, financial status, social profile, family connections, or predicted future of the other partner but the so called ‘love’ soon turns sour after the “I do” is said and stark realities set in. Reader, if you are not prepared to give and give, even if it were your very life for your partner, you are not worth a blissful marriage. Let God be your guide because He created the marriage institution and knows the future of persons. He can help you create that synergy with the rightful partner. One mama will say, “IT IS BETTER TO BE ALONE FOR A LIFE TIME THAN TO BE WITH A WRONG COMPANY FOR A MINUTE”. This is Prince Joshua Oyeniyi, over and out!

                   Images from Google search engine

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