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‘My husband withdrew our joint-saving and eloped with a woman’

Life blows a big one on us when we least expect and from the people we least expect too. I am a very hard working woman who equally loves her family. I used to be a manager in one of the big textile companies until about three years ago when I had to resign. My husband, Akpan, holds an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Business Administration while I have a Master’s in Business Administration.

I was aware of his lower educational qualification but I married him because he was hard working. He used to work with one construction firm but was sacked when they were downsizing. For me, aside from being a top manager in my organisation, I also have two big shop where I sell foodstuff such as garri, beans and rice in bags and palm oil and groundnut gallons. When Akpan lost his job, we decided that he should start managing both shops and concentrate on them as well instead of looking for a job.

I discovered that he is also business inclined and was in a better position to run the shops since I don’t even have the time until weekends to show up at the store. Akpan was really doing well in the business and we were all happy. A few months later, I decided that we should open a joint account for capital intensive projects in the future. About four months later, we bought a land at Ikorodu so that we can start building our own house and also shops for rent to earn more money. I was so excited that things were going on well until I received a phone call from my account officer one fateful Wednesday afternoon, “Madam, good afternoon. Please I want you to come to the bank.

I need to see you,” she said. “Aisha, I hope there is no problem?” I asked. She assured me that there was none but only wanted to confirm something from me. On Thursday afternoon, I went to see Aisha and I got a shocking news. She told me my husband withdrew and had been withdrawing large sums of money for about two weeks, which was strange. But I assured her that it was to purchase goods for the shop. But from her reaction, I knew that she was not satisfied with my answers and she said, “Madam, he has withdrawn N6, 000,000 in two weeks. Are you aware of that?” she asked. “Did you just say N6,000,000? What is he doing with such an amount?

He only told me he withdrew some money for goods,” I told her. I rushed back to the office. I could not concentrate. I just forced myself to stay focused throughout in the office. When I asked him about the money that evening, he told me he put the them into a new business which he just discovered but refused to give me the details. “But why didn’t you discuss with me before taking such a risk?” I asked. “Don’t worry Josephine, the money will soon double, it’s a good business,” he assured.

While I was still trying to comprehend that, one of the boys in one of the shops called me five days later and told me I should come over to the shop. I took permission and rushed down there only to discover that Akpan had sold off both shops. “Oga, please I am the owner of this shop, what are you doing here?” I asked. “Well, Mr Akpan sold everything inside here for three million naira. He said he needed the money urgently to meet up with some family needs. He also sold the land at Ikorodu to my friend in case you don’t know, according to him to add up to the money,” he informed me. I did not know when I sat down on the floor with tears rolling down my cheek.

I later summoned courage and asked all my workers to go home until I sort things out. When I got home, Mirabel our daughter told me their father said he was travelling out of the country with his new wife. In the letter he dropped for me, he said he has found his soul mate and that they were travelling out that night. “Josephine, I have emptied our account, sold the two shops and the land at Ikorodu just to make sure I leave this country with my new wife. I am sorry but it was something I had to do. Take care of Mirabel and Junior, I know you will understand and forgive me some day. -Akpan.” It was a big blow. In less than two weeks, all I have ever worked for was gone.

My children are my only consolation. It affected me so much that I could not concentrate any more at work. My immediate boss, a white man noticed it and asked me to resign instead of being sacked. I gladly did. I told myself I was down but not out, so, I decided to pick up the pieces of my life. I decided to start a small business so that I can at least feed my children and train them in school even though I knew they cannot continue with their present school. After what Akpan did, I was left with less than N400,000 in my account, so I decided to sell my car and the money was enough to start the second-hand clothing business I wanted. I rented a shop and started my business, changed my children’s school and life continued. Thank God, my business is booming and my children are doing well in school.

They do not even ask after their father, they are old enough to know about life. It is four years since Akpan left us but recently I was sitting in front of my shop with my children when I saw Harry, one of his friends who told us that Akpan was back in the country. He told us how things were rosy between them until Akpan discovered that the woman brings and sleeps with men in their home which made him beat her occasionally. She later duped and ejected him out of her house; this forced him to return to the country because he could not face the humiliation any more. “He has been looking for you and the children. He went to the former house but was told you have packed out.

He desperately wants to see you,” he said. When Harry left, Mirabel and Junior asked me if I was going to accept back their father and I said I don’t know. As if they planned it, they warned me not to think of accepting him because if I do, I should also think of choosing between them and their father. He came to the shop, went on his knees to plead with us to forgive them but my children still stood their ground. In his presence, they told me “Mummy, it is either this man or us. After what you did to our mother you still have the nerves to come here. Please leave before we hurt you.” I looked helplessly as they humiliated their own father, but do I blame them. I know I still love Akpan and I love my children dearly, they have been my source of strength and they have also been there for me. I have forgiven him but do I have to accept him? I know I still need a man. What do I do?

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