Only dumb, bird brained and obtuse Nigerians don't get to read beyond the headline of a news report. I don't cheery-pick my opinions from headlines or from one-sided opinions — opinions that are always laced with biases. I take my time to weigh every story on the scale of justice by burrowing deeper beyond the headlines.

Maryam Sanda broke the headlines on our screens on November 19, 2017 when she stabbed her husband to death following an allegation of infidelity against him after seeing a text message on his phone. She has been standing trial for alleged culpable homicide and recently we learnt that a Federal Capital Territory High Court has sentenced her to death for killing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello.

There is no smoke without fire. My people say 'A toad does not run in the afternoon for nothing.' There must be a reason why Maryam had the impetus and audacity to stab her husband to death and of course I have stated it in the preceding paragraph: she stabbed her husband to death following an allegation of infidelity against him after seeing a text message on his phone.

An objective observer should learn to critically assess matters by learning to separate the chaff from the wheat. Maryam did not wake up one morning to stab her husband without a cause. And the text message she saw on his phone was probably the straw that broke the camel's back. She must have been suspecting her husband a long time before she dared to nurture the thought of not trusting him. She must have borne more than enough infidelity from the man such that when her eyes met with another cunning text message she was moved to physically abuse the man. Only a woman who have been emotionally abused can physically abuse her husband.

In society many men believe that having a penis is a licence to cheat on their wives. Moved by impulse to drive a wedge between them and the love they have for their wives, they go out to seek other women but never care to consider the consequences. In fact they believe that there should be no consequences even if their wives should find out. Had Maryam being the one whose blood was allowed to flow on the tiles of her home, society would still have her corpse whacked for cheating on her husband. It is a taboo for women to cheat but it is not so for men, after all boys will be boys, right? And when a man suffers the gruesome penalty for cheating on his wife society point accusing fingers on the woman.

I do not justify the crime she committed. To deprive a human the right to live is a grave offense. An offense worthy of death. An offense to be frowned upon. I reckon that poor Maryam must have loved the man so much to have borne so much infidelity from him but his constant escapades with women was the fuel that ignited the anger in her, the anger that made her did the abominable.

No matter the height of unjust acts perpetrated by the husband taking laws into her own hands is not appropriate. The court order is absolutely right and accurate.

Women are prone to go berserk if they are hurt deeply. Striking a man dead will not bring a permanent solution to infidelity but could be the last resort for a depressed wife.

Maryam does not need to die. She should have cheated death in the first place by not wasting precious time to fight for love from a heart that does not love her and could not be faithful to her. She should have walked away from that home bag and baggage, leaving nothing but her memories on the mind of her cheating husband.

Maryam Sanda does not need to suffer death by hanging. She does not need to make her child motherless. She should have bid farewell to a man who gave her a reason not to trust him.

There are so many Maryam Sanda out there who are being cheated on by their husbands and I'm afraid that if men do not stop cheating on their wives more Maryam Sanda will stand trial for alleged culpable homicide as many cheating husbands will be sent to the great beyond and eventually these women will be hanged to death.

Promise Eze is writer and journalist based in Sokoto

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