Rose John, a 24-year-old lady, has narrated how she was embarrassed by her family over her insistence on spending the rest of her life with Monday Itu, despite his disability.
Speaking with BBC Pidgin, the mother of two explained that he met Itu when she was 19 and they eventually got along in a serious relationship.
Rose said when she took him to her family house, they vehemently opposed her choice of man for marriage, citing his disability.
“My boyfriend and I have been together for five years. We started dating when I was 19-year-old. I was in senior secondary school two (SS2) when I met him,” she said.
“The first time he talked to me, I turned down his advances. The next day, he sent his friends to Ughelli, Delta state, where I was living at the time to plead with me on his behalf. It was at that point that I agreed to date him. After that, he came to meet me and we got along in a serious relationship.
“When I took my boyfriend to my family house, they felt bad. They even slapped and cursed me before chasing both of us away from the compound.
“They were questioning why I chose to marry such person when there is no one in the family with similar condition. So, they insisted that I cannot marry the man but I told them that he is the one that I want to spend the rest of my life with.”
Rose said she has no regret being in a relationship with Itu despite the fact that he is not financially buoyant.
“I don’t see my husband as someone with disability or without complete body. I have not had any regret being in a relationship with him because he is caring, supportive, and knows how to make me happy with sweet words. I don’t really consider the fact that he has no money to give me,” she added.
On his part, Itu explained how Rose has been a blessing to him, adding that his life would have been miserable without her.
“If my wife isn’t with me, life would have been miserable for me. When she agreed to date me, I didn’t have money and it’s not like I have much to give her even now, but she is still with me. I can’t fathom what really makes her love me that much. It’s something I cannot comprehend but I believe it’s God’s way of doing things,” he said.
The 29-year-old disclosed that he was not born with his current disability, noting that he discovered he could not walk again at the age of four.
“My current situation wasn’t inborn. I was four years old when it happened. My mother told me that while I was playing, I started crying all of a sudden but nobody knew what happened to me. So, I was rushed to the hospital where the doctor confirmed that I won’t be able to work again because my two legs had seized,” he said.
According to him, the family survives on alms given to him, proceeds from Rose’s groundnut business as well as support from her mother.