The police in Niger State recently apprehended Fatima Sani, 36, for stabbing her mother-in-law, Aishatu Umaru, 70, to death in the Mashegu Local Government Area of the state following a misunderstanding. Sani, who is pregnant, tells ENYIOHA OPARA her account of what happened
How did the misunderstanding between you and your late mother-in-law start?
The misunderstanding started on the day I got married to her son, Sani Umaru, in March 2009. His mother did not hide her objection to her son’s marriage to me. Although my husband was madly in love with me, his mother swore never to allow the marriage to work. In fact, from the time my husband defied his mother’s threat not to marry me, there was no love lost between me and my mother-in-law.
Every small matter was easily amplified into a major issue, resulting in a quarrel and physical combat in many cases. She mounted pressure on her son to take another wife. She described me as a good-for-nothing woman so that her son would leave me for another woman. She even threatened to curse her son if he failed to end his union with me.
How many children do you have?
I got married to my husband in 2009 and we have three children. I am six months pregnant now. I was living in peace with my husband’s two other wives. I am his last wife and his other wives accepted me and helped me when I came and that helped to move the family forward. All of us were happy as one family. But the greatest problem I had in my marriage was my mother-in-law, who did not want me in that family. My greatest joy was that my fellow wives were giving me support to deal with my mother-in-law’s hatred for me.
Why did you stab her to death?
Since I came into that family, I had not known anything called peace; every day was spoilt by my mother-in-law’s trouble. There was nothing I did that pleased her so I decided to stab her to death so that the problem would be over.
What led to her death started when she accused me of calling my first son a bastard. I was shouting at my first son to go to Islamic school as he was almost late and the teacher would not tolerate that; even my mother-in-law was aware of it. She called my husband on the phone and said I was calling his son a bastard. Out of anger, my husband sent me out of the house without hearing from me and I went to stay in my father’s house for two months. During the period, I did not hear from my husband and I kept thinking about it every now and then.
My mother-in-law had a pathological hatred for me; she swore that my marriage to her son would not work. Even my parents had reported the matter to our village head, telling him to contact my husband to find out from him if he was no longer interested in the marriage so that he could divorce me and I would be able to move on with my life.