House of war

From Abel Leonard, Lafia

Lafia, capital of Nasarawa State, came alive a few days ago with the tragic news of a bloody fight between two housewives setting tongues wagging. The warring women are wives to Mahiru Danjuma, who resides behind Command Secondary School.

Hafsat is the second wife and Fatima is the first. Both are from Augwan Liman, Lafia town. In the fight, Hafisat bit off, chewed and swallowed a portion of Fatima’s eyelid. Danjuma married Fatima 14 years and they were blessed with seven children, with two of them deceased.

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Being a Muslim who is entitled to more than a wife if he so wished, Mahiru decided to marry again. But since he took that particular decision and brought in his new angel, neither he nor his wives had known any sort of peace.

His old joy and happiness, like a bird, has fled away in the winds while his home has become a theater of war between the warring wives.

Today, his wives have taken their battle, as they say, to the market place and the once peaceful family has become famous for the wrong reason given the carnivorous nature of the last fight

A witness account

Presenting a picture of what transpired on that fateful day, Halima Musa, a witness and their neighbour told Daily Sun: “I was in confusion seeing how Hafsat bit off, chewed and swallowed the flesh of Fatima, as if it was a normal thing. I screamed and shouted and was miffed, but that did not save the sad day.

“We begged her to spit out the flesh, but she refused and swallowed it. It was a very sad moment for the other wife as she cried tears and blood, but no one could help her, because her rival had clinched her teeth tight to her flesh until it was cut off.”

It was gathered that Fatima had initially bitten the second wife on her breast and on some other parts of her hand, which probably caused her to impulsively bite off Fatima’s eyelid.

Fatima insisted that she has been living peacefully with her husband before the coming of the second wife. She explained that the coming of the second wife changed her world from happiness to unbroken nightmare:

“At some point of the tortuous experience, I decided to go back home to my family and was ready to ask for a divorce, end the marriage and find my peace. But my family prevailed on me to return. In fact, they accused me of simply being jealous and unable to cope with the coming of a new wife, which was not true.”

Contrary to her expectations that her leave would usher in a fresh breath of peace upon her return to her husband, matters only grew worse by the day, she stated: “The last fight happened inside our husband’s house at the back of Command Secondary School, Lafia.

“That was after our husband called us both and talked to us. He pleaded that we should live in peace. My husband admonished me to please respect the fact that she is his wife. But just about then, my co-wife got agitated, stood up and started quarreling again. That was how we started to fight.

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“She bit my flesh around my eye as you can see the wound is still fresh. I don’t know what to say but to leave everything to God who is the owner of our lives. Immediately, my eyelid was bitten off, they took me to a hospital close to the Emir’s Palace. It is called Asibity fada in Hausa at Kilema.”

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Asked if the case was reported to the police, she answered negatively:

“After the fight, they invited the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). When they came, they had the mindset of arresting my co-wife, but our husband hid her up.”

It was gathered that the officers were eventually persuaded to hands off the case after the local community leaders pleaded to be allowed to handle the case.

Hafisat admitted chopping off the flesh of her co-wife but blamed her victim for the fight: “Is it my fault that our husband comes to my room all the time? I am the new wife (Amariya). Maybe, there is something our husband enjoys inside me that she is not providing or does not have.

“I am in the hospital at the moment. It is not my fault that she was sent packing back to her father’s house. It is because our husband finds me worthy of a wife.

“What happened is that when we fought the first time, she left the house. She went back to her family.

“The truth is that the woman was tired of the marriage already. When she came back from her family house, she met me and our husband and we both stayed together.

“One fateful day as I was cooking or doing something in the house, she walked pass me and abused me. I did not reply, but she kept on insulting me, calling me a witch.

“That was how we started a fight. She bit my breast while at the same time calling on her brothers to join hands with her to beat me up. It was then that I held her head closer and my mouth fixed on her eyelid, so I removed it. That was how she left her own bite me on my breast”.

Fatima’s mother, Aishat, told Daily Sun: “She has been complaining of the new wife and had made several attempts to come home. But we insisted that she should stay there.

“Now that the husband has decided to divorce her, slapping her with three divorce papers at the same time, it means, by our religion that she would not go back to that house.

“With what happened to my daughter and the husband still decided to let divorce her, I feel something is not correct about the whole scenario. I leave everything for God.

When contacted, Mahiru, the husband of the two women, declined comment: “I don’t want to comment on this issue. Thank you.”

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