True Love

  • Wedding a bedridden lover is not the easiest thing in life

It looked like a scene right from a romantic movie. We refer to the publication in this newspaper (The Nation) last week of a picture featuring a bedridden man, getting married to his wife in Benue State. The severely injured man, 45-year- year old Telembir Benjamin was joined in holy matrimony to his 27-year old partner, Christiana Ngamuni Pine on December 11, 2021.

Incidentally, the couple lives in a one-room apartment in Welfare Quarters in Makurdi, and they have three children even though they have not legally become man and wife. Benjamin Tyough, an electrician, fell off an electric pole in March while working; an accident that injured his spinal cord and rendered him immobile.

Not discouraged by this situation, his wife, Christiana, agreed to wed him formally, apparently exhibiting the well-known maxim of ‘Till death do us part’ or living together in ”sickness and health” or in ‘poverty or wealth “ that characterise the solemnisation of many marriages.

Unfortunately, too many couples tend to treat their marriage oaths with utter levity, thus leading to the breakdown of such unions as seems to have become the norm now. Christiana no doubt deserves applause for her noble and selfless love for her husband. There are, unfortunately, several spouses who walked out on their marriages, following the onset of the kind of unanticipated adversity experienced by this couple. It is also an act of courage on Christiana’s part since she will have to undertake chores, for which ordinarily her husband would have offered a helping hand. We agree with the officiating priest, Father Kenneth Agedu, when he described the wedding as a true demonstration of love while appealing to Nigerians to offer assistance to enable the groom to get back on his feet in due course.

In the words of Father Agedu, “It will be a shame to humanity, Benue State and Nigeria to leave this man to die because of N1.5 million….This is not a death bed wedding because his condition is not terminal.” Of course, this should serve as a clarion call on those who have the means to extend a helping hand to this couple and as well as those who are facing various forms of adversities and challenges, particularly those in the areas of health care.

It has been reported that Tyough was rushed to the hospital after his accident, but he had to be rushed back home because of the inability to raise the sum of N1.5 million demanded by the health facility.

Christiana told journalists after the wedding, that she loves her husband and had decided to stay with him despite his health challenges. According to her, “I have made the decision to live with him out of love. I am praying and hoping that God will touch the hearts of good people to sponsor the surgery of my husband, but even if that does not happen I will love him to the end”.

Surely, this attitude is deserving of applause. This is particularly so as Christiana has borne three children in the marriage and she should not be seen to act in any way that might hurt their future prospects and progress.

However, the fact that Tyough had to be taken back home from the hospital on the day of his accident, because of the inability to pay the N1.5 million as demanded by the hospital illustrates, once again, how thoroughly broken our health system has become across the board. Again, is Tyough working for a private or public sector company? It is important that the identity of such a facility must be made public and appropriate compensation paid.

Too many workers, especially skilled artisans and junior employees, are forced to work in dehumanising conditions with little or no benefits and most times retire into a life of penury. Thus, when buildings collapse, for example, workers caught on-site simply perish most times without even any manifest or list of workers present on the location to aid relatives to identify and retrieve bodies of their loved ones.

We urge Nigerians with an inclination to philanthropy to rise to the occasion by coming to the aid of the bedridden man so he can at least gain some succour and begin to walk again with as much normality as possible. – The Nation Newspaper Editorial

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