By Sandra Ijeoma Okoye

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: Given the avalanche of posts and comments on various social media platforms attesting to what led to the death of the popular gospel singer, Sister Osinachi Nwachukwu, who died on Friday in Abuja, it is no longer news that she was a victim of domestic abuse perpetrated by her husband, Peter.
For instance, Frank Ugochukwu Edwards, a gospel singer like Osinachi lamented her death, saying in a now viral post: “We tried to stop this from happening but that unreasonable human put off a shining light.”

In a similar vein, the ‘Ijoba Orun’ crooner, Lara George, in her reaction to the controversies trailing the death of Osinachi, a fellow gospel musician said “While I still believes in God, “no more mindless religion for me”.

Peter Nwachukwu who was invariably the husband of Osinachi is alleged to have initially sold a dummy to the public by claiming that the now late singer died of throat cancer. However, facts are by each passing day emerging that she actually died due to domestic violence.

In a post through her Instagram page on Saturday, George lamented the prevalence of abuse in marriages and other aspects of life. The musician said people should quit hostile marriage or work place when they notice abuse regardless of societal perception.

She said, “Abuse does not only happen sometimes in marriages. It could also happen at work, in church or in any setting really. I’ll say it again…. It happens in church too. When you smell abuse, err on the side of caution and walk away!” she wrote.

At this juncture, it is expedient to say that Peter could not have had his way in killing Osinachi as virally alleged on social media space and on conventional media space if she had walked away from the marriage before her demise on Friday.

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Ostensibly speaking, Peter could not have been different from other wife beaters in our society when the only counsel left for women in troubled marriages is “Don’t quit the marriage for the sake of the children”. Also, the kind of advice that comes from elderly ones, particularly mothers and aunties, “Stay in this marriage. Bear it. Don’t let our enemies laugh at us. In a similar vein, if there are counsels and narratives which Church leaders need to reassess, they are the ones that say women must be submissive to men. The scriptural basis of the advices cannot be argued against as there are so many of such salient scriptures in the bible.

Unfortunately, it is not false to say that the counsels and narratives which sounds logical and sensible on the surface give cover to spousal abuse and the objectification of women as property, particularly when misunderstood from ecclesiastical point of view.

In fact, not few fathers and mothers that are experiencing blissful marriages are unanimous in their views that men of God are wont to counsel that married women should endure violence and abuse, believe that the submission philosophy is a leading factor contributing to gender-based violence and the spate of murder tearing many families apart.
Unfortunately, some of the narratives coming out of the Church have contributed big time to how men view women.

Against the foregoing background, it is expedient to say that Peter couldn’t have been different from his environment; the environment that nurtured him. After all, was it not Philip Zimbardo that posited “That human behavior is more influenced by things outside of us than inside? The ‘situation’ is the external environment. The inner environment is genes, moral history, religious training?”

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Be that as it may, it would have been better if it is widely understood that Submission does not mean ‘’Beat her, and turn her to a punching bag”. I have heard men hide behind it, and in other words, it comes off that women are property, which they are not.”

As her death remains shocking to not a few Nigerians, particularly her fans, not few questions are been asked. Some are asking “Why couldn’t Osinachi walk out from the marriage”? The answer to the foregoing is not farfetched as answers to most questions been asked about her death are been provided on the Social and conventional media spaces which have been agog with the death of the notable gospel singer.

For instance, Social media influencer and relationship therapist, Okoro Blessing Nkiruka popularly known as BlessingCEO has called out the church leaders as well as Pastors for not doing much as far as marriages and relationships are concerned. In her comment on her Instagram page, she stated that if the late ‘Ekwueme’ crooner, Osinachi had left her husband, she bet that no church would invite her to sing.

She said that the church and pastors have failed many men and women in marriages, stressing that some of their ideologies and approach to marriage is hypocritical. She said: “If the late Sister Osinachi had left her husband, I bet you no church would invite her to come and sing.

The foregoing comment, has however being pooh-poohed as one of the pastors and counselor to the late singer have spoken out. Pastor Chioma Ibieze claimed that Osinachi didn’t want anyone to interfere in her marital woes as she held unto God to solve it.

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The female pastor recounted how God opened her eyes to the challenges the singer was facing and when she spoke to the deceased, she opened up to her in tears.

Pastor Chioma noted how her death could have been averted but she chose to die in silence, to endure the abuse, the pain and the sorrow.

According to the pastor, she begged, pleaded and counseled her but she turned a deaf ear and kept enduring it because she was trusting God to help her.

At this juncture, permit me to say that domestic violence is a society-wide issue that affects people of every race, class, and gender. With this in mind, we all have a responsibility to help stop domestic violence, especially considering the struggles that domestic violence victims face when trying to leave their dangerous situations.

While there is a common misconception that survivors of domestic violence can simply leave their situation, there are a number of reasons why this isn’t the case. There is no denying the fact that domestic violence is an evil that need to be stopped. However, before it can be stopped the victim need to shout and let the world know what he or she is facing. It is better to be single than remain in a marriage that threatens one’s life.

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