As with every news of domestic violence which spreads like wildfire, I was woken up to the news of the untimely death of one of Nigeria’s finest female gospel Artist Osinachi Nwachukwu who was said to have died as a result of cancer on 8th April, 2022. This could have passed as one of those news, until new facts started emerging that she died as a result of domestic violence.
Then you begin to wonder and ask how such a talented and self-accomplished individual who loved God could be a victim?
It is now truly obvious that violence knows no class or creed. It could have been that she cried out to her Church or Pastor or friends or family, but all she got was “it is well” and now that the inevitable has happened, they are speaking out. It is NOT WELL if we carry on with the traditional ways of sweeping bad behaviour under the carpet.
In Nigeria today, Domestic Violence is a crime under the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (2015). The Federal Government of Nigeria and the States has declared zero tolerance to Gender-Based Violence. And so, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs under my watch will prosecute this matter to get justice for Osinachi.
It is obvious that her children also need psyco-social support to heal them from this trauma if it is true that their father will go the whole length of tying her up and asking the children to flog her with a cane. This is unbelievable and must be condemned in all its ramifications.
The Ministry working with relevant authorities will set in motion the mechanism to rehabilitate these children so that they do not grow up damaged and assume that such acts are normal thereby poisoning our society.
I know that more women are going through such traumatic experiences, please give them a listening ear, provide wise counsel and save them from untimely death. I am not advocating for divorce for those, who will misunderstand me! All I am asking is that we stand up to the truth where necessary and promptly so as to save a life when you have an opportunity to do so. We cannot continue to keep losing our young women to mentally unstable young men all in the name of marriage. Life first before anything.
Our Religious and Traditional institutions, as well as the immediate families must join us in this fight to rid our society of such acts before they become fatal.
May the soul of Osinachi and all those who have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence rest in peace.
Please if you see something, speak out, so that together we can save lives.
Dame Pauline K. Tallen, OFR, KSG Honourable Minister of Women Affairs