Looking at the rate at which domestic violence is on the rise and with the way Pius Angbo got away with his wife battering case, one begins to wonder if the weak can survive from these bullies. There are so many cases of couples who have turned their once beautiful homes into martial arts arena and in most cases, their kids becoming the regular spectators. Domestic Violence should not be tolerated or endured in any way or situation. It is better to speak out.
As I saw the red and bruised face of Mrs.Ifeanyiwa Angbo; how Governor Samuel Ortom settled the issue in a flash and then both partners were back in each other’s arms my mind drifted back to three years ago.
When Bernard got a well paying job he never knew that it would end up destroying his life. After leaving his last job, Bernard stayed at home for two years job hunting before he landed himself a lucrative appointment with better package. Everything about the job role and environment was fantastic. Bernard had entered as customer service personnel but barely three months he was made a team- lead over those who had been there which had stirred up some hatred in the heart of Kingsley who joined the company some months earlier. Bernard had a unique way of getting things done and based on recommendations from customers he got promoted.
At the end of one year, he had risen to the position of Supervisor. He had a good relationship with his direct Lady boss who was the owner of the company. The only challenge that Bernard had came from one of the company’s biggest customer - Chief Olatoye. Anytime he was around the whole environment became toxic. He would shout and use abusive words on anyone he saw. He used the “F” word freely. The first time Bernard confronted him he threatened Bernard that he would get him sacked. Later that day, Bernard was summoned to his boss’s office and made to apologize to the chief.
After several months of enduring Chief Olatoye’s verbal abuse and threats of being sacked, Bernard decided to confide in Amara, a former colleague who was sacked some weeks ago. Amara had fought with Chief Olatoye who had slapped her and in the process tore his shirt. After the incidence at the office, Amara was arrested and taken to the station where she spent two nights before she was released.
And when she got back, she was given her salary for the month and asked to go. Miss Amara begged Bernard to resign because Chief Olatoye was his boss’s lover as well as the backbone of the company’s survival. He was like a partner in the business. According to Amara, if chief should leave, there is no way the company will survive. Chief Olatoye had strong connections and had done lots of terrible things to workers in the company. There was a case where he told all the workers to kneel down. He was a tout. Bernard wanted to leave but he was scared of staying at home for some years without a job. So he decided to stay and watch things unfold. Maybe one day, Chief would become his friend just as he was friendly with his colleague Kingsley.
Three weeks after Bernard had asked Amara for advice, something happened. Bernard had come to the office and saw Miss Bimpe, the front desk officer crying. He asked what the problem and he was told that it was Chief Olatoye who had slapped her. Bernard became furious, he stormed his boss office to discuss the matter and saw Chief Olatoye, his boss and colleague Kingsley having fun as if nothing happened. Bernard froze. He though his boss was alone. He could not say anything but Chief Olatoye had sensed that Bernard had entered the office because of the incident with Bimpe.
He got up from his seat and approached Bernard. “Have you come to fight for your colleague?” Chief Olatoye asked. Bernard did not reply and it was what the chief hated. He wanted Bernard to say something. He grabbed Bernard by the shirt and pushed him hard that Bernard fell backwards and hit his head on a nearby shelf. Bernard got up and left the office without any action. He wanted to retaliate but thought about his job. Bernard later called Amara and told her about what had happened at the office.
Three days later, Bernard suffered memory loss. Chief Olatoye was arrested for Domestic Violence but was released some hours later. There was no concrete evidence according to the police because no one was saying what really happened. Bernard’s boss and Kingsley said Bernard had an accident in the company’s conveniences where he slipped and hit his head on the ground. The bone of contention now is whose version of story will they believe?
Is it Amara’s who was sacked by the company? Or Kingsley who is likely to replace Bernard as the Supervisor? Or Bernard’s boss who is trying to save her company?
Bernard can’t even remember if he ever worked in that company. The only person that could corroborate Amara’s own version is Bimpe who is scared of her safety. It is now three years and Bernard is still suffering from memory loss.
Domestic violence is not to be tolerated or endured. Speak out. Leave that job or position. Life does not have duplicate. It is only when you are alive that you can work and not when you are damaged. Stop being scared of tomorrow.
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Photo credit: Shine