Double portion! Jeers, cheers for men marrying two women same day
Among the myriad of strange things Nigerians have seen on the social media and the country’s blogosphere in the last one year, young men marrying two wives at the same time takes a vital position.
In Nigeria where polygamy is rife and many Christians and Muslim men alike live with two or more wives, many readers who have joined the buzz over the issue online agree it is strange to find a man wedding two women at the same time.
In April 2017, a farmer and sawmill operator, Emamuzo Utomajiri, married two women in a big event at Uro-Irri, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State. A few men have since toed the same path, taking an action that none seems to have surpassed since Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, married 27 wives on the same day in February 1978.
A PUNCH reporter who was at Utomajiri’s wedding spoke with members of his family who said the relations of the trio were happy about the union.
Few months later in September 2017, a Delta State-based man, Daniel Etoroma (aka Akalaka), married two women in Orie-Irri, Isoko South. A Facebook user, MC Udeke, who first shared the pre-wedding photograph showing the man with his two brides in red t-shirts online, said the wedding took place on September 30, 2017.
As the trend takes root, tomorrow (Sunday), February 2018, an Abia State indigene, known simply as Ejindu, will also be wedding his two brides in Abiriba, Abia State.
Since the wedding posters advertising the ceremony hit the social media, the trio have become some sorts of celebrities hailed for their ‘bravery’ in doing that which many dread to even fathom.
Apparently to give the two fair-skinned and beautiful women named Oyediya and Ebere some individuality in the ceremony, Ejindu created individual posters in which he poses with each of them.
But Ejindu’s marriage is not the only such union that has gone viral in the month of February alone, showing that it is fast becoming a trend in Nigeria.
Few days before Ejindu started to trend on the social media, the pre-wedding photos of an unidentified Kogi-based man with his two brides circulated online.
Another photograph of an unidentified man with two brides surfaced online on February 6, with an internet user who shared the photograph, saying they were joined in marriage that day.
In faraway Kenya, a priest, Reverend Vincent Mulwa of Christ Pilgrim Restoration Centre, stirred up a controversy few days ago when he challenged the long-held belief which frowns on polygamy among Christians.
He called on Christians to marry more than one wife to “save a generation of women who are ageing in the church without husbands”.
“I have never seen anywhere in the Bible where prophets and preachers prayed for single ladies to get married. The Bible people were polygamous and everyone had a husband,” he says.
Among other controversial claims, he that widows were allowed to become concubines in the scriptures.
But some Nigerian religious leaders are having none of that.
Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Lagos State, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, goes critical on Mulwa’s opinion, saying, “I do not know which Bible the pastor is reading.”
According to him, the priest’s opinion could not have come from the scriptures.
“Jesus spoke of the end-time. The devil has its own pastors. There are many of such pastors all over the world. Any pastor who says he cannot find anywhere in the Bible where it is forbidden to have two wives is certainly using a different Bible,” he says.
In public discussions on the social media and churches, “finding a husband” is a matter which seems to generate much furore when it comes up and lots of emotion when raised as a prayer point in churches.
Bamgbola explains that the increasing difficulty in finding a man to marry stems from the fact that men are scarce due to being “eliminated faster than women in the world”.
Other men marrying two women on the same day. Photos: Facebook
The CAN chairman says, “It is difficult for women to get husbands these days because there are wars all around the world that are taking men away. Men are being eliminated faster in the world than women.
“In Nigeria, who are the ones fighting Boko Haram? It is the men. Wherever there is war, men die. This is why we are running short of men. There is a natural trend which started few years ago; there are more girls than boys being born.”
According to the United Nations, for every 100 girls born in Nigeria, there are 106 boys.
But according to some experts, boys have higher mortality rate than girls in their first year, which is why there seems to be more women than men in the society.
One of such researches was conducted by experts at the University of California, United States, few years ago when it was discovered that this might account for the higher population of women.
Bangbola says the scarcity of men to marry should not justify moral erosion.
He tells our correspondent, “This should not make us point people in the wrong direction. The bible teaches us, one man, one wife. Because women are not finding the husbands now, you see all manners of social changes.
“Some women do all manner of things in the name of attracting men. There is always a man created for a woman and a woman created for a man.”
Another priest, Venerable Biyi Akinde, has a similar opinion. According to him, even though there are polygamists in the church who are not compelled to divorce all but one of their wives, polygamy still remained unsupported by the Bible.
Akinde says, “We would be pretentious if we say the difficulty of finding a suitable husband among Christian women is not a problem. But let’s say, for the sake of such women, each Christian is permitted to take more than one wife, what happens when someone decides to take four or five or even six wives?
“It is not as simple as saying that so far as such person can take care of them, it is fine, no. It is simply a recipe for domestic disaster. How many of those parents of ours who took as many wives as they wanted that actually took care of their many children?
“Many of them abandoned the responsibility of fending for the children to their mothers. So far as the Bible is our guiding book, any trend such as men wedding two women at the same time would always be unacceptable.”
Where does man with two brides sleep on the wedding night? –Prof Akintola
When Saturday PUNCH asks popular Muslim activist, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, his opinion on the issue of men marrying two wives on the same day, considering the fact that Islam does not forbid polygamy, he says this trend is not new.
He even shares that two of his friends married two women each on the same day more than 35 years ago.
According to Akintola, such cases arise when two women in a relationship with a man get to know about each other and for Muslim men whose faith does not forbid polygamy, a man who does not play the hypocrite may likely agree to marry both of them so far as the women are willing.
The don, who heads the Muslim Rights Concern, says, “Honestly, it is never a smooth sailing when a man has two women at home. Women in such marriages try to tolerate each other because neither would want to leave her husband for the other.
“However, I must confess to you that this kind of situation is not the best. Personally, I do not have the heart or the courage to go ahead with leading two women to the altar on the same day.
“One of the reasons I have in my mind is that the day of marriage is supposed to be a special day. After marriage, you have the obligation to satisfy both of them equally.
“In whose room will a man sleep on the wedding night? Who will sleep alone? Women are finding it difficult to find husband and it is the same all over the world. The problem and fears are real. But despite this, men should be God-fearing and not take advantage of such women.”
But the Chief Imam, Idimu Millennium Central Mosque, Alhaji Sharafdeen Ibraheem, says the choice all depends on individuals.
“People are doing things differently these days. Personally, so far as you are financially capable of marrying two women on the same day and it conforms to your morals, I don’t see anything wrong in it,” he says.
Another Islamic cleric, Alhaji Musbau Olowosola, who also supports such marriages and weddings, explains that such men should even be praised for having the courage to do what other men fear.
“As far as marriage is concerned, polygamy is African. If a man has the courage to marry two women on the same day and he has the wherewithal to take care of the wives and the children they will bear, we should praise him,” he says.Punch