(From a mystic perspective)
Yusuf Balogun Gemini,
‘The true heart of all human beings is the lover of what is’,
It’s agonising how we tend to overlook and sidetrack those who truly love us. And it can be more sad when who we love doesn’t love us. Such is the case of Bilyamin Bello and Amina Bala Shagari. Yes, I am aware many don’t know the daughter of Shehu Shagari was his first official wife. But sadly enough, this marriage couldn’t last for a year due to infidelity on a part of Bilyamin. He was making out with Maryam Sanda–who was obviously his lover in their school days. Amina thought the best thing she could do to give her lover peace and happiness was to leave him to follow the trail of his heart. Now, that’s what love does. One who loves you would readily let go of you, if he or she discovers the needed joy is not coming through. But did Bilyamin really follow his heart by marrying Maryam in October 2015 or he followed what he stands to gain?
Maryam Sanda is the daughter of Maimuna Aliyu, who was the former executive director of Aso Savings and Loans Ltd. Bilyamin was a nephew to Alhaji Bello Haliru Muhammed, a former chairman of the People’s Democratic Party. He is however popularly regarded as his son due to the fact that he had been a cognizant image of the man. This tells us that Bilyamin necessarily was not of a rich background as such (at least not as wealthy as Maimuna). While his family opposed his marriage to Maryam, he pushed on stubbornly perhaps due to love or perchance, an open ground for an opportunist. Who could have thought that a glamorous wedding as such having Ali Jita as the musician would end on a bloody note?
While there’s likely possibility that Maimuna was the source of Bilyamin’s eventual affluence, we could say Maryam was the husband and Bilyamin, the wife. As odd as this might sound, it’s noteworthy to accept that only a woman who has loved a man above normalcy would marry him and still raise him from grass to grace.
Having read different versions of narratives on the murder of Bilyamin, I stand to question the authority of a particular article (untitled) written by Maryam’s friend and is widely circulated on the social media. If Maryam had been dating Bilyamin since school days, how come she only discovered when they married that he was false about his family, job and source of income? Wouldn’t a long-term date with him reveal that Bilyamin was an adulterous being ? If cognizant answers can’t be provided to these questions, then we might still claim she married him on the basis that he would change to positive. But Bilyamin was a dry bone that couldn’t be bent as such but could only be broken. However, stabbing him to death wasn’t the best way to break him.
Maryam Sanda ought to know the Islamic and northern setting opens room to a polygamous marriage. If Amina could have easily let go of Bilyamin, I wonder why Maryam couldn’t–perhaps because of the wealth she had invested in the man, the stigmatization she would suffer from family and friends or the fear that Bilyamin would be regarded as a weak man who couldn’t make his home stand firm. But if Zaynab Otiti could divorce the supreme Ooni, who’s Bilyamin to Maryam ? I’m certain if Zaynab didn’t take that step, something tragic would have occurred and those blaming her for divorcing the King would still blame her for not divorcing him. There are things that happen behind closed doors and are hidden. Until this murder, only few people knew the war brewing between the couple.
The strong point remains that Maryam has murdered her husband-perhaps when she couldn’t withstand the agony of infidelity any more or feeling betrayed despite all her material and bodily approach. But no one remembers the six month old baby at the receiving end– she is a girl. And when she grows up, she’d be told the story of her mother and how she murdered her father. That is if she doesn’t even read this article and who want to marry the daughter of a murderer (with the belief that the killer blood still runs in her veins) ? A depressed and frustrated woman can do anything. If one could commit suicide, then she could kill anyone who serves as a threat. There’s no justification for a woman who killed her husband but somewhere, somehow this is still happening and might keep happening.
When the relative of a noble man dies, all hell is let loose. But when a common man dies, silence reigns. This isn’t the first case of such murder. Yewande Oyediran, a lawyer in Oyo state stabbed her husband in February 2016 and was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in November 2017.
Cases are covered up, cases shall be covered up and Maryam’s story won’t be an exception. Desert Herald testified to the fact that her mother has given five million naira to the police in charge of the case and even Maryam is in an executive cell, which seems like a private home. Then, I wonder if justice ever exists after death. What would matter at the end is not dying foolishly in the wrapper of an obsessed woman.
Many men these days are after well to do and socialite women not knowing there’s more to light than meet the eyes. It ‘spellbounds’ me how people only come out after the tragedy has been committed. Hakeem Ali, a friend to Bilyamin claimed his friend was a prisoner in the home. Who did he tell? What step did he take to make sure things were corrected ? Or perhaps, Bilyamin was the diehard gold digger who was ready to be a slave to a money merchant.
As Nneka Ekechukwu gets wedded to Oretunlewa Soyinka, I wish them a marriage safe from knives and bottles. But who knows what the future holds? A woman had smashed bottle on her husband’s head days after that incident and it had simply passed. The possibility that Maryam Sanda would be jailed or face death is very low and I’m certain that she’ll be out soon. It has always been the trend. But the truth can’t be altered. If you are fed up of a marriage, step out. It’s not until the court agrees or your partner gives in, step out if you can’t manage your anger or depression. Step out of an abused marriage. Learn to love those who truly love you when you were nothing, remember tough times don’t last.
While the true story is never to be told and there would always be the false and true side of accounts in which the obvious truth quietly lingers, it’s sad that the shutter to a love story has been invaded by rage. Love has turned to obsession. It’s happening to someone now and sooner and later, it might just be you. Everyone wants to venture into love without knowing what it truly encompasses. Perhaps, if Bilyamin and Maryam were just friends, he would still be alive and they would be best of friends. Either way, she could have assisted him with funds to start up a business and it all continues peacefully. But, it was the other way round.
Now, I weep when I read the heartfelt tribute made by Amina Shagari. She still loved him and wished she could have ended it but it wasn’t her fault, after all. Bilyamin chose that path. And an innocent child is at the receiving end. Some day, that child would read the play Maryam and Bilyamin just like I read Romeo and Juliet. She would then say :
’Old one, did these people ever existed or they were just your fictitious creations?’ I would look at her in silence and let trails of blood retell the story.
‘I learned that every mortal shall taste death. But only some will taste life’, Rumi.