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Taiwo Obasanjo is the mother of Olujonwo, who married Adebutu’s daughter. She was absent at the wedding because she insisted there should not be much celebration but her plea was discarded. What has befallen her missing son? She narrates his ordeal in this interview
Is it true that your son’s marriage has broken down and you are in the middle of it all?
My son’s marriage didn’t break down and what do you mean that I was in the middle of it all?
Well, the last time they were getting married you made it publicly known to everyone that you were not in support the marriage?
I think you are getting some things wrong, if you had gone through my stand on this you will realize that, I never said that I wasn’t in support of the marriage. The only problem I had was the date and all I was after was that the date should be changed.
But the date wasn’t changed, they disobeyed you and you were unhappy?
You see the date change had been going on in the family before I went public. I was in support of the wedding. But do you have the time for me to give you a breakdown of what actually transpired? Before this girl came into the scene, I was told that when he is getting married that there should be no noise. That was the instruction given to me but when this girl came I told them, let them just do this wedding quietly. Instead, they shouted me down and were asking that how can two big families come together and they won’t have a big wedding. I am the biological mother of the groom, I gave birth to him and I am not holding on to him to be my handbag. If you go through the Bible, instructions were given to mothers about their children. For instance, Samson’s mother was given instruction about him but Samson defied the instruction and he ended up being killed by Delilah. Do you understand me? I know what I suffered to have this boy. When the wedding proper came I told them not to pick a particular date and that he should only do a big wedding after his 34th birthday. On my own, I went to the mother of the bride Rose Mary Dacosta because I thought she was a mother, but she refused. They insisted on having the wedding in April. I told the girl too but she was adamant. Unfortunately, people are thinking that I was against the wedding. I wasn’t against my son’s wedding because I love him.
Are you the one hiding your son?
How can I hide him? Everyone has been phoning me and asking for his whereabouts. They want to kill me and this is another means for them. How can I hide a man who is 34 years old? What do I want to do with him? And I can never be his wife. I am praying for him to be productive and I am praying for him to be fruitful. From the first day of the wedding, the mother of the girl said she wanted to go on honeymoon with my son and his wife, which I have never heard of in my whole life. Whether I am lying my son can testify about that. The mother insisted that she must go on a honeymoon. I wasn’t there, but I heard that later. My son defied my advice and the advice of the living God because I didn’t go soliciting for prophecy for him. The one about the wedding came on its own. I never went to anybody to kneel down and asked to be prayed for. This message came voluntarily. For spiritual messages you don’t go soliciting, that means there are powerful truths behind it.
Do you think it was the spiritual message you received that was responsible for the breakdown of the marriage?
I don’t know whether the marriage has broken down or not because the young man lives with his father in Abeokuta while I live in Lagos. So, I think you should direct that question to my son’s father and his wife. I am asking them both where my son is? That was why I went to the police to make reports last year. I saw my son once before the wedding when he came to tell me that, ‘Mummy I am going ahead whether you support me or not’. He defied my orders and that was why I didn’t attend the wedding. Everyone said they were above the almighty God who gave the message and I am nothing because they are the ones controlling things.
Are you saying the marriage has not broken down?
I don’t know whether the marriage has broken down and I said I don’t live with them. The only time I went there was last year after the wedding. Daddy OBJ called me after the wedding, I didn’t even want to pick his call but later I did and he said he wanted to reconcile us all. Then I went and he was asking me why I didn’t come for my son’s wedding. My two children apologized to me and we made peace that time. I also saw him when I went for a programme, which my Uncle Professor Sunbo Martins had, which was a book launch. That was last year. From that time to this time, I haven’t seen my son. He doesn’t pick my call and how did I know about this? It was even his wife that called because each time he runs from his matrimonial house, his wife will now phone me and start asking about him. Every time this happens, she calls and this one happened since November last year, till now I don’t know where my son is. That was why I went to the police. People might say whatever they want to say, I don’t care, but I am a mother and I care about my son’s welfare. They say I am interfering but is it interference to ask if your son is okay. I called daddy OBJ and he didn’t pick my call. Daddy OBJ was picking my call before now and we were speaking. We talk, we chat and I see him but since that matter happened, now I called and he didn’t pick. So, I went to see Daddy Adebutu with my family because it was very surprising to me because from November the woman said she had not seen my son. I even went to Tope Adebutu’s house where she lives with her mother.
Are you saying that she has also moved out of her matrimonial home?
I don’t know oh! When I was asking she was the one that told me that she is in Ikoyi with her mother so I went there to see her. She told me she has not seen my son since November so I started asking people about this. If I don’t know the whereabouts of my son, should I just fold my arms and watch? Does that make me a responsible mother? I don’t stay close to them. Moreover, Abeokuta to Lagos is not one-minute drive and since they got married I have never interfered and I don’t go there. So the young man has gone into hiding and this is not the first time this is happening. He has been running away from this girl, he would disappear and then when they settle the matter he will come back home. Now everybody said they are tired because every time they are always quarrelling.
You mentioned earlier that you called daddy Obasanjo but he has not been picking your calls. Does it mean that he held you responsible for the problem in the marriage?
He is the one that should be held responsible for whatever problem now because I heard that this young man has been reporting this matter to his father. This girl has been threatening his life, and many times he will run away from her. This even happened two weeks before the wedding. When daddy OBJ called, I told him, go and look for my son because this game you are playing I don’t understand. How can a former head of state say that he doesn’t know where my son is? I said please nothing must happen to my son and I am going to cry out to the whole world to hear about it. I didn’t understand why he was phoning me and my son’s wife too called me. Right now they don’t know where my son is and that was why I went to the police. My son has become a fugitive hiding and daddy OBJ is insisting he stays married to this girl. There must be a reason and I don’t know the reason because he doesn’t come to me or visit me and he doesn’t tell me anything. He has never told me he had a problem with this girl and so I became scared when I heard.
Have you asked around from his friends?
I have been asking and nobody knows where he is and I won’t keep quiet. He picked my call one time and after that, he has not picked again. What kind of life is this? Why should my son be intimidated to submit to his wife? Is it not the wife that should submit to her husband? They said the girl has been maltreating my son so much and his father his aware. He reports this girl and his father is insisting that he stays married to the girl. He has been inflicting a lot of humiliation on the young man. There are occasions when she slapped him. Can you imagine a woman slapping her husband? She disgraces him, pulls his shirt and threatens him. She tells him that she would ruin him and all manner of humiliation. She said she didn’t know that she married a 419, that it was only the name that the Obasanjo’s family have, that they don’t have money. She is just a carbon copy of her mother. Her mother joins in cursing and threatening him which his wife also does to him at home. He has been seriously battered and that is why he is running away from his wife. How can a man be running away from his wife and they are insisting he stays with this jewel of destruction? And daddy OBJ does not deem it fit… All he cares about is that he should stay married to her.
Why do you think he is insisting that they stay together despite their problems?
That is what I don’t know but I think it is because they are both from big families and if the marriage should break up it will become a scandal. But I am afraid for my son because we are in an era now where wives kill their husbands. So my son should stay in an unhappy marriage and whereas he has refused to make up with his first wife? He said he will never make up with her and he said he can never submit to her, that he is the head of the family. So why should he be insisting that my son should submit to his wife?
What steps have you taken to reconcile them?
Thank you for asking me that question. I have visited daddy Adebutu and I even went with my family so that they won’t think it’s his mother that is causing it all. Like I told you earlier, my son doesn’t call me, he doesn’t visit me. The two of them didn’t acknowledge me as a mother. She only does that when her husband runs away from the house and she will talk to me as if I am her maid too. Asking me questions like, where is he? When last did you see him? So I went to see daddy Adebutu who is a very good man. The problem of this marriage, which they are trying to heap on me is from that girl, her mother Rosemary Dacosta and daddy OBJ. Tope is like a masquerade she will be crying when you are talking to her but she insults everybody in the family, even the Obasanjo’s family, she rubbishes everybody. He told the boy he wants hundred thousand naira as allowance. I told her, this boy doesn’t have money. He works for his father, he is a graduate and he studied International Relations. My son is not idiotic he is just a complete gentleman, very respectful and peaceful. But this girl is trying to change him. My son is humble and he keeps to himself.