WHENEVER I remember MARYAM SANDA, I literally get goose pimples all over. She is the 19-year- old wife and mother of two who was sentenced to death by hanging last month for allegedly stabbing to death husband Bilyannu Mohammadu Bello in November last year.
The couple violently quarreled over the nude photograph of a woman she saw in his cell phone. Abuja high court judge Yusuf Halilu held that she stabbed him to death with a broken bottle. But Maryam said her husband fell over a shisha pot which broke.
I pity judges because they are not witnesses of events they must sit in judgment over, especially where life was lost, and if their verdicts would entail the loss of another or more lives. I hate violence and anger, the harbinger. Decades ago, I learned while striving to inwardly grow up that An angry soul is an unclarified soul.
For anger beclouds the thought and barricades the soul from guidance, out of the Light, and makes both soul and thought the toys or playgrounds of entities from principalities or minions of the darkness.
A mother of two, Maryam, must be asking herself now, if prying into her husband’s phone was not foolish behaviour and if quarrelling over the photograph of a nude woman was worth her life and the duty to safely see two young children to adulthood.
She is the kind of mother Clement Okosun, my editor on the Lagos Weekend newspaper in the early 1970s, wrote a column about which he titled: A child with a child. If she is 19 and already has two children, she may have married at 15, an age many people, like Mr Okosun, will consider too young for marriage even if the physical body pretends otherwise.
There are people, though, who believe the soul is not new on earth and that a girl’s second menstruation must take place “in her husband’s house”.
Even if the soul is not a first timer on earth, can we not imagine that it needs more than 15 years of education about the new state of affairs in the world it has returned to to enable it effectively control the instincts of its new cloak or vessel, the physical body? I know there would be counter arguments to this suggestion for there are women in their 30s and 40s who have killed or maimed their husbands during violent quarrels.Both categories of wives are governed by a common denominator. They are unclarified souls. Soon, I will explain what I mean by this.
Meanwhile, the verdict of death by hanging so devastated Maryam that she began to cry… and even tried to escape from the court room and from the law.
Her response to the judge’s cold verdict suggested that she could now think better and probably deeper in the absence of the stressor, the photograph of a possible “other woman”, and that her “aggressor” mode of life had been enchained by some clarity of thought.
If she attacked her husband, to safeguard her marriage, perhaps to prevent a drain of resources for the upkeep of her children, isn’t that dream gone now with the wind, and , and if she has to die as the judge has ruled, would she be able to protect those children she may have been fighting for?
As for judges, I said earlier that I pity them. This matter is strictly between Maryam and her husband on one hand, and their creator on the other.
The state is involved to make us all behave better, as dignified human beings, from what we see or hear befalls people who do not heed the creator’s will which the state and the judge try to uphold. Abuja high court judge, Halilu Yusuf said an eye must be traded for an eye, in consonance with mosaic law.
He said the law demanded that “thou shall not kill”. I guess that was from the Ten Commandments which, though christian in biblical presentation, the Koran upholds as one of the four books which Almighty Allah sent to mankind, the other three being the songs of David , the Book of Revelation and the Koran.
Except for the Mosaic interpretation of “an eye for an eye”, I have no idea where the Ten commandments prescribe death for murder. The new testament in fact preaches love and forgiveness, as shown in the prayer of the Lord Jesus on the cross (“Father forgive them for they know not what they do”) In this light, I have tried to imagine Maryam’s husband, as he was discarding his battered and murdered physical body, feeling so sorry for her, and forgiving her if for no other reason, for the possibility of her surviving him to be able to raise their two children the way he would have wanted to bring them up.
If this was the case, it would require clairvoyance or clarified intuition to see that Maryam was free of any misdeed, however grievious we may think the murder to be. In this case, the judge would be wrong to commit her to prison, let alone order that she be hung by the neck till she died.
This elucidation of the gap between spiritual life and physical life is given by many writers on miscarried justice, including Herbert Vollman in his books, THE WORLD AS IT COULD BE and KNOWLEDGE FOR THE WORLD OF TOMORROW.
We know of the will or the last testament which judges respect, but how many know of the spiritual testament and respect it? The human spirit is free to exercise its will wherever it may be, here or there. This expression out there is as valid as that made in here.
Ignorance of the law we know is not excusable in human earth matters. Why do we think this is not also the law beyond here? Thus, judges are not protected, spiritually speaking, even when their judgments agree with the early law, which deviates from overarching spiritual law.
Maryam’s story reminds me of James Redfield’s book, Celestine prophesy, in which he discusses the Four Human Control Dramas. These dramas are all about the four categories all human beings can be grouped into in accordance with their character or behaviour.
This book recalls the graduation of human history from the Agrarian Age to the Industrial Age and, from there, to the post industrial or information age from where it is now transiting towards a spiritual age in which religion may disappear as a mechanism for understanding existence and man would recognise himself as nothing but a spirit spark from out of the radiation of God “sow” into the earthly soil to germinate , flower and fruit.
In the course of sprouting, these spirit beings need energy to further mature, says Redfield. But, rather than suck it from creation, with an inexhaustible energy stock, continually replenished from the radiations of the creator, they ignorantly and stupidly steal it from themselves in four basic ways which he calls the “control dramas”.
These beings feel insecure and compete to dominate each other rather than “co operate” and share. Thus, when two individuals relate, they pool their fields of energy and compete to dominate and control the accumulated energy.
“A fundamental assumption underlies most human interactions. We must compete for this energy, drawing it from others and protecting ourselves from others’ attempts to draw it from us. This leads to some nasty interactions. There are four main methods used to get energy called control dramas.
“Intimidator’’ takes energy by threat,forces people to pay attention using fear.
“ALOOF’’ gets energy by acting coy and hard to get. Often acts clueless, tells redundant stories, even if you have heard them.
“INTERROGATOR’’ steals energy by questioning and judging others. Make others feel inferior by finding faults in them.
“POOR ME’’ takes energy by making others feel guilty. Complains about problems and rarely state solutions”.
I do not wish to drag you into the rest of this manuscript. But I would like to say each one of us exhibits one control drama or a group of them. Maryam Sanda played the intimidator when she attacked her husband.
She was an”interrogator” as well when she questioned him about the photograph of a nude woman. In doing that she arrogated to herself the right to cross the privacy boundary of another person even in marriage and resorted to threat and probably force to assert control over her husband.
She may be unable to prove that the woman in the photograph was his mistress. Even if she was, were there no better ways to untangle the knot? What if the photograph was a post from a friend? What if the husband was a porn lover, a right to which he was entitled by law which marriage could not disposses him of? She claimed that he fell over a shisha pot which is not bigger than a small lantern, and which broke and killed him.
Is shisha not about drugs and flavours smoking? Is drug taking not associated with bestial sex life? In any case, Maryam ought to have noticed these tendencies during their courtship and decided if she was ready for his kind of life.
The husband did not need to password his phone to make the point that, in marriage, both parties reserved the right to remain individuals in some aspects of their lives. The “intimidator” is an “aggressor”. We find them everywhere in Nigeria…
The boss in the office, the bus conductor, the policeman with a gun, the unarmed soldier, the “agberos”, the lawyer in the court room cross howling at the man or woman in the dock to unnerve him or her. The policeman, the sex for marks professor. Many of us are interrogators.
We are ever fault finding in a “bring down” syndrome. Many of us say Nigeria is a “good for nothing” country or that the government “is doing nothing” even when, last week, the price of both local and imported rice fell to an all time low in years. Maryam Sanda, too, found fault in her husband.
“Poor me” personalities are no less difficult to spot. They always try to make you responsible for their woes. If their child died before you sent them money to take him or her to a doctor, your lateness in sending the money would be a factor in the cause of death, as if they were not meant, on their own, to be responsible for their children.
No matter how much water you run into their basket, you were not expected to live to your standards until they had come at par with you. One man even openly told his prosperous younger brother that it was because of him that the creator blessed the younger one with more money.
Souls who exhibit one of these tendencies or a combination of them are incarnated in families where the parents are homogenous with their types. Thus, a child is often a mirror of the parent and viceversa. These human faults in the young ones are reinforced through suffering under their parents.
We become somewhat clarified when we hate our afflictions, see the other person as a mirror in which we are seeing ourselves, and decide to change our “control drama” even where the others do not change themselves.
Then, we learn how to ride over their storms and tides and live lives in which no one can berge into us and drain us of energy. Maryam Sanda may not have done this. This is an important direction to chart in marriage.
Marriage is not what many people think it is. It is not a merger of souls, but a union in which individualism is meant to be preserved as in all unions. To that union come two parties with complementary abilities or talents which enable each person to become a better person at the end of the day.
That means, I give to you what you lack and I take from you what I lack. You may be temperamental.I may be a calm introspective or even intuitive person. You do not force me to be temperamental and act on the spur of the moment.
If I am futuristic and you live in the past, still counting loses of ages ago in the union, we would not stride upwards, but plod along on the way, probably to nowhere.
Child bearing, often thought to be the crown of marriage is not the purpose of marriage either. At best, child bearing and rearing offers an opportunity for propagating the human specie. Lizards, mosquitoes and ants, too propagate themselves.
And for Christians, the Lord Jesus taught that in Heaven, no one is handed out in marriage, let alone for child bearing or child rearing. Child bearing is only an opportunity to help souls in the beyond who still need earthly experiences for their maturing and perfection reincarnate for such experiences.
Secondly, it affords those who bring them forth yet another lifeline to LOVE. We are all split parts of the Love of God. We must, therefore, love and be loved.
When we bring forth love in our souls, we plug these souls to the lifestream of love from God circulating in the universe. Doing so strengthens us and pulls us up towards paradise where nothing but absolute love prevails.
Marriage is a much,much higher opportunity for the human soul to waken in itself the slumbering or sedate potentials of love. Each party in a marriage is in it solely to help the other party fufil the mean purpose of existence, which is to perfect the soul on earth for readmission to paradise.
Our jobs, too, offer us an opportunity for this when we attend to it or tend it with love. How many of us do this? Do we even love our country? Do we love any cause? Do we in love for a cause volunteer ourselves for volunteer work? If through our jobs or occupations we do not serve our fellow humans to true love, whereas the soil, the sun, the stars, the moon and all natural forces, attend to us and tend us in love, can we attend to our marriage partners in love and tend them accordingly? No. Many of us are in marriages as social contracts.
Women do not wish to become old maids or search for men who would pick their bills. Many wish to be mothers without knowing the serious responsibility which goes with that. A child is like a seed, a gift to the right mother. She is to tend the seed. It must not be lost in the world of thorns.
The fact that our world is upside down today with drug abuse, among many social diseases, is evidence that many women have lost the seeds, the human souls, entrusted to their care. If a marriage is right, the wife will not hate her husband, turn their children against him, malign his reputation, or attack him with a dangerous weapon as some women do.
Maryam Sanda said her husband fell on a Shisha pot which shattered and was responsible for injuries which killed him. Shisha pot is used for drug and flavours inhalation. Was he on drugs? Do drugs not go with women and porn? What was she doing in marriage with such a man if she was his opposite? If, in love, she meant to help him out of his weaknesses, was violence , and not love, the corrective measure? Maryam’s soul on my opinion was not well trained to appreciate enough the world she has returned to before she became married at about 15.
So, we could not tame the instincts of her body and her intellect which relied on intimidation and inquisition to solve her problems.
We should feel sorry for her. Who among us can cast the first stone that we are not intimidators and inquisitors (interrogators)whose own foibles have just not come to public light?Let us pray for her that the appellate courts would commute her death sentence to an imprisonment term, or even free her.
Her husband, on the other side now, may have recognised that he wronged her, he may be struggling to find her listening ears, he may want her to look after their children. Maryam may purge herself of foibles, if these were what her husband died from, when the children grow up and learn that the story behind their father’s demise.
And if our judges hold that she has to go, where will they all,like we all, hide their faces should this couple re unite on the other side and , lovingly, decide to undertake another earth journey, to right the wrongs of the past?In this case, reincarnation reveals to us its beauty as the best correctional service in the universe.
Meanwhile, ladies and gentlemen, let us pray for Maryam, Bello, her husband and their children.