One of the institutions of God that
man has embraced with every sense of eagerness and satisfaction is marriage. It
is something that everyman and woman irrespective of religion or race
craves for. It spreads joy across the
families of both the bride and groom, while ensuring sense of life’s
fulfillment in every being across the society.
It is highly esteemed, so much that the absence of it in the
life of an average man or woman poses some level of irresponsibility, depression and even complex in the course of
life. Its attendant reverence and favour have rendered at a necessity to every
mature adult hence it has become a normalcy that in recent times, every weekend
is packed with marriage ceremonies in village squares, churches and event
places with happiness on the faces of attendants.
It is a worrisome however, that such an event of life with
all its show of beauty, creativity, joy and blessings could still be attended
to with levity, such that, the more wedding ceremonies, the more cases of
divorce, contrary to the oath of “till death do us part”.
To say however, that divorce is gradually topping the list of
cases attended to in the magistrate courts of late is to say the least, grossly
Divorces, as it were, has become part of life among couples.
It is seen as the best option where any form of supposed irregularity is found
in a marriage. A supposed solution to a crumbling marital union. The shame and
stigma that hitherto attended this act have been so trivialized that it no longer matters, afterall, life goes on.
Hence, The Tide’s women’s Desk was poised to find out
why many are opting out of an institution that others are yearning to embrace.
A close investigation on the issue reveals that there were
marriages that lasted for just a month. Very unique was the marriage that ended
just after the couple’s honey moon, where they parted ways on their way back
from the ‘moon.’
“Most women need partners that would share ideas and help
them accomplish their dreams. When these expectations are not met, it is rather
considered wise to opt out and get going” says a divorcee who pleaded anonymity
She explained that the incompatibility of the man and woman
is enough reason for the marriage not to continue because it could lead to an
untimely death of one of the partners.
According to her, some men are just irresponsible they don’t
want to be committed in their
relationship. They are just after the conjugal bliss, a situation she endured
for three years after which she decided to call it a quit.
Mrs Celestina Hekerem, a banker with Eko Bank was of the view
that the present hard economy was a contributory factor to the issue of
divorce. According to her, today’s economy is very sophisticated and highly
demanding. It requires all hands (husband and wife) to be on deck for the family
to push on.
Apart from those that I would describe as being highly
favored by God, most couples are either unemployed or one of them making do
with one meager salary-paid job or the other.
It takes an enduring partner to stay through the marriage otherwise,
it is divorce, she said.
For Mr Toney Fiberesima, dishonesty could be the bane of any
According to him, how could anyone continue with a marriage
entered into with the understanding that the bride is a virgin and later
discover that she is not.
Fiberesima maintained that marriage was supposed to be built
on sincerity and devoid of every form of pretence. Unfortunately, he noted that
most marriages are founded on untruthfulness and pretence and because they must
be exposed someday, the marriage can’t continue.
Doctors Blessing Amadi and Godstime Ike of the University of
Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital were of the view that infertility among couples is a major cause of divorce. “Ofcourse, one of the basic reason of
marriage is for procreation and where this is absent after many years of
marriage, it is somehow bound to crash except for very few enduring couples.”
They also revealed that the libido or romantic ability of a
partner can contribute to the rise and fall of a marriage.
Pastor Anyalebechi Nnunukwe of the Seventh Day Adventist
Church, Port Harcourt, attributed the cause of divorce to adultery, intolerance
and lack of patience among couples.
He said a lot of couples today for reasons known to them have
lost sight of the original nature of marriage – that a man would leave his
father and mother and cling to his wife and both of them shall become one
flesh, they have relegated this injunction by God and turned to sharing their
flesh with two or even multiple fleshes.
They are different entities coming together to live their lives and
share a common goal. This requires a high level of tolerance and patience.
Unfortunately, these virtues seem to be lacking in most couples resulting to
On his part, Chief Nsan Enerene, said marriage is to foster
posterity. Your marriage should provide you with a son that will continue your
lineage. Your wife could give you only female children and you might be lenient
enough to pick another wife to give you a male child but your wife may not
agree with you and so, the best thing is to get divorced.
A 92-year old retiree of the Federal Civil Service, Pa Akande
Ishaya, lamented that today’s marriages are made up of youngsters who are
immature and lack knowledge of the nitty-gritty of marriage, this he views as a
major cause of divorce.
It seems that the quest for marriage among youngmen and women
has neglected the idea of courtship
where most of these issues would have been resolved and the marriage formed
with every sense of understanding, tolerance and hopefulness.
Moreso, life itself is a check and balance, the absence of
which would result to unfathomable chaos. Thus, what cannot be changed, I
think, should be rationally endured thereby returning the original beauty of
marriage and then, it would be a worthwhile adventure.
44 Years In Marriage: Couple Celebrate Love
While some couples have had to quit their union in very short space of time for various reasons, for Mr and Mrs Akpan, the grace of God upon their marriage had been the spice that had kept the union going.
44 years now in marriage, the couple have gannered enough reasons to celebrate God’s goodness, faithfulness upon their lives. Sunday, September 19, 2021 remains remarkable in the history of their relationship as they appeared before a distinquished congregation at Charismatic Renewal Ministries, Woji, in Port Harcourt, to refresh a covenant they had 44 years ago when they first tied the nuptial knot.
Engr Anthony Akpan who doubles as a Pastor and Zonal Secretary, PFN, sees his wife, Mrs Akpan Emilia, as the greatest gift from God to his life, for which he declared that, “she is worth celebrating for her love, hard work and uncountable achievements these 44 years of marriage.”
In his words, “today is a joyous day and double celebration for us. We are 44 years in marriage and my wife is also marking her 69th birthday. God has been so faithful to our union”, he noted.
Commenting on the uniqueness of their relationship, the Rivers State commissioner for information, Pastor. Paulinus Nsirim discribed the couple as role models and inspiration to the old/younger generations.
Pst. Nsirim reiterated that the couple have been a great gift to the church and have mentored many lives/marriages both in the church and secular world, adding that “they are worth celebrating.
“The couple have been a blessing to the body of Christ and nation at large. Their marriage has been an inspiration to me and others. Their marriage would continue to enjoy God’s blessings”.
Meanwile, the Chairman of Pentecostal Followship of Nigeria (PFN), Rivers State, Rev. Dagogo Jack, has appreciated God for keeping them in harmonious marriage for 44 years.
PFN Chairman said the couple has worked so hard in the Lord’s vineyard, adding that their lives have been an example to believers.
Speaking during the thanks giving service, the celebrant, Engr Akpan appreciated God for the grace given to them that called for the double celebration.
On the secret of the successful marriage, he noted the need for couples to “have a good heart and relationship with God, work in forgiveness for one another, make excuses for each other and always striving to be the best husband/wife for one another”.
He reiterated the need for couples to work together and overcome pressure points in their marriages.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide shortly after the thanks giving service, Mrs Akpan recounted God’s grace and faithfulness in her marriage.
Mrs Akpan who noted that the marriage has been a source of joy due to the presence and grace of God, said the secret of her success in marriage is God’s word and command that, “the two should become one”.
For her, success in marriage starts with the choice of spouse. Thus she advised, “don’t choose a husband/wife based on wealth and look, but ensure that he/she is your soul mate”.
And to the younger women, she stressed the need for endurance and the ability to settle marriage challenges on one’s knees.
Their union is blessed with eight children and seven grand children. Mrs Akpan, is the proprietress of Showers Christian High School.
By: Lilian Peters
Rotary Club To Empower Women On Renewable Energy
As Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco District 9141 gets a new Charter President, there are indications that attention is gradually being shifted from fossil fuel to renewable energy. In her inaugural speech as the first president of the charter, Rotarian Emem Bridget Okon, said, “this club under my leadership will champion alternative source of energy, we are going to promote that in the communities.”
She announced the interest of the club in climate literacy, as she declared that the campaign is on a shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy as it would be good to also make contribution in that aspect.
For this reason, the president said, they would train local communities as well as empower youths and women on renewable energy such as solar, so it can help in the area of having energy stoves and solar power in communities, among others.
She called for support from individuals and organisations as well as donors to ensure that this project makes impact in the lives of community members.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after her installation, last Sunday in Port Harcourt, Rtn Okon explained that the state of mother earth has become a global challenge as such the Rotary Club is interested in finding solutions to some of these challenges as it affects all aspects of human life.
Speaking further, she explained that the club’s mandate is to promote environmental conservation, ecosystem restoration as well as climate change mitigation, adding that the club would also seek to contribute to addressing the challenges in the Niger Delta environment in line with Rotary international focus through the following intervention areas: disease prevention and treatment; mangrove restoration; basic education and climate literacy; peace building and conflict resolution; economic and community development and eco ambassador, among others.
She further explained that the environment area of focus in rotary club was adopted in 2020 during the presidential counsel meeting, adding that this is the first club that particularly focused on the environment in West Africa.
Rtn Okon stated that the core mandate has made it become the first in West Africa and first in Nigeria, noting that this same core mandate was first adopted in Kenya, thereby making the Port Harcourt Eco District 4191s core mandate, second in Africa.
She noted that high level of soot was one of their major reasons and concern to focus on the environment, adding that the club has just unveiled the campaign against soot.
The charter president revealed that the club has also started the ‘Safe The Mangrove Campaign,’ which they are targeting to plant 50,000 mangrove trees by June 2022 when this rotary year would end.
She further revealed more activities they intend to embark on to include carrying out tree planting saying: “All these are necessary because these trees are important in absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and also helps in the restoration of the eco-system.”
“You would agree with me that this year’s World Environment-Day has the theme: ‘Eco-System restoration’, while World Earth-Day has the theme: ‘Restore Our Earth,’ so if we look at keying into those United Nations themes, it is better to take actions that would contribute to restoration of the environment, that is why we have decided to do tree and mangrove planting,” she added.
She explained that there got to be awareness creation, which they can only achieve through conferences, policy dialogue and engagement with environmental justice groups, adding that all these would contribute to taking actions to restore the environment.
“Many of us in the club are people, who have been very passionate about the environment in the Niger Delta, a lot of us are environment justice campaigners even those that are government officials are people, who have held offices in the area of environment, so we are all committed to the process.
“We have already started schools campaign and the production of pamphlets on climate literacy, so between now and June 2022 this club is going to be all over the place, building partnership with government agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as well as with individuals interested in promoting environmental protection and conservation,”the charter president added.
On her part, the Assistant Governor, Zone 4 2021-2022, District 9141, Rtn Nkiru Enyia, stated that the Charter President, Rtn. Emem Bridget Okon, was fully prepared to lead the club towards achieving its call mandate.
Enyia congratulated her and prayed God to grant her the needed wisdom to do exploits in the task ahead of her.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
Int’l Day Of Peace: Banigo Calls For Peaceful Lifestyle
The Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has reiterated the need for all residents in the state to live peacefully with their neighbours in order to attract more developmental projects to all nooks and crannies of the state.
Banigo reiterated this in her goodwill message from the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Monday, to commemorate the year 2021 International Day of Peace.
According to the deputy governor, “Progress and development cannot thrive in an atmosphere of bitterness and rancour it, therefore, behoves on all residents to keep the peace at all times to fast track the development agenda of the Governor Wike-led administration.”
Banigo, who disclosed that since the advent of the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration issues of communal clashes occasioned by land boundary disputes had reduced to the barest minimum, noting that the Rivers State Boundary Commission under her watch as chairman had received the necessary encouragement to adjudicate on land boundary disagreements which have engendered peace in communities.
While wishing the Rivers people a happy International Peace Day celebration, the deputy governor stressed that there was no substitute for peace.
It would be recalled that the 21st of September is celebrated worldwide as the International Day of Peace.
The theme for this year is, “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World.”
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