What She Said: I Was ‘Married’ To A Police Officer For 7 Years, Here’s My Story

| Her
October 14, 2020


For this week’s What She Said, I had initially spoken to women who are survivors of SARS and police brutality, because that’s an important story. But when I had the opportunity to interview the subject of this story, I asked myself one question: if police officers and SARS oppress Nigerian citizens especially the young people who they are supposed to protect, what are they like in their homes and to their families? 

The woman in today’s story talks about being taken away from her family to “marry” a police officer. They never got married, but they cohabited for years during which she had to endure several forms of abuse until she managed to escape. 

What was it like growing up? 

I was the only girl after four boys. From a young age, I was told I had to clean, cook and take care of my brothers. I was still writing WAEC when some relatives from Lagos came to visit my family and somehow, I ended up in Lagos with them. My stay with them was short because they took me away to the man I was to marry. 

Did you know they were going to marry you off?

Not really. I was under the impression that I was coming to further my studies. I had heard stories about people leaving home to come to Lagos to get jobs or further their education, so I was hopeful, as well as scared. I didn’t think of marriage at all.

So you started living with him immediately?

Yes. They said he would take care of my education. They told me he was a good man, a good Christian, with a good job in the Nigerian police force. They told me he would marry me too, but we never got married. I was “saving myself” for marriage and I told him this, but it didn’t move him. I now understand what he did was rape. I wasn’t ready and I didn’t know him, so I begged him. He didn’t listen. The way I saw my future, it was with a man I loved and was interested in, someone in my age grade. This man was 15, if not 20 years older. I never knew his real age. 

I’m sorry you had to experience this.

I had to make my mind get used to it. It is a very painful memory, but that’s not the worst part. There are plenty worst parts to the story —  like someone coming to tell me that my “husband” had raped their child, or him never giving me money to cook but expecting food to be available. I grew very lean in my first year there because I’d have to starve or beg neighbours for food. If I brought up trying to get a job, he turned it down. He said I had no skills. 

Wow. How much of his work did you know about? 

Not much other than the fact that he used to complain about the money. People used to hail me in church, congratulate me for being the wife of a police and for having a good husband. 

If only they knew. Did you tell anyone about the things he did? 

I was too ashamed to. And I didn’t know how to. I didn’t even know what to call it or that there were organisations that helped women get out of situations like that. I was young. 

True

My husband was on night duty a lot or maybe he was just out at night. One time, he came back home with some of his colleagues. They were drunk and not wearing their uniform. He told them they were free to do as they wanted with me. There was another time he threatened to kill me because I didn’t have food in the house. Sometimes he’d just shout at me for no reason, like I was a small child he was scolding. He once pointed his gun at me. I thought, what really makes a man this evil? Because I didn’t understand it. 

I’m sorry. Have you heard about the #EndSARS protest?

I have heard. I support it because even I am a victim, my brother’s children are victims. But I am sad about one thing: it must not stop there. If they get fired from their jobs, they’ll take it out on their wives and children. I have heard plenty of stories. If anything about their jobs change, they’ll take it out on their family. Some of them. It’s scary.

That’s true. How did you leave?

I took a good look at myself —  a young woman with a bright future. It felt like I was doing myself by being there. I needed help. I told you I have brothers. They were the ones that helped me. When they saw me, they couldn’t recognise me. It wasn’t easy to leave, but because he had never paid a bride price or brought his family to see my family, I was lucky. He threatened my family. I was even afraid he’d carry out the threats, but nothing happened. Time has passed. And that’s the only reason I can share this story. 


If you’d like to share your experience with the Nigerian police or as a woman in Nigeria generally, email me! Read more What She Said stories here.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

black girl with flowers in her hair
November 2, 2021

Astrology babes are delicate and sweet babes that bring sunshine into your life. Her horoscope has probably already told her that you will toast her so here’s a list of ways to ensure that you make a good first impression:

July 19, 2020

Bra’s are a necessary evil, they are like the online shopping experience to our wardrobes. Asides the fact that they are uncomfortable here are 7 other ways they make our lives less fun: 1. Calculating the right bra size. This thing is legit on a further maths difficulty level. 2. Sometimes the bra starts stabbing […]

March 24, 2021

This week’s What She Said is Koromone Koroye, a 30-year-old Nigerian woman. She talks about attending Pentecostal churches when growing up because of her radical, religious father; her experiences with Nigerian Christian communities and her relationship with God. You have the floor. In my first phase of spirituality, my relationship with church was connected to […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

January 22, 2022

The typical Nigerian wedding is not complete without a souvenir for the guest to take home. From towels to wastebin, Nigerians never run out of souvenir ideas. Take the quiz to find out which souvenir you are. Go on:

Recommended Quizzes

April 1, 2020

Everyone has a Nigerian bank that matches their personality. You could either be as likeable as GTB, as efficient as Access or as mature as First Bank. Either way, all you have to do is take this quiz and we’ll let you know with almost 100% certainty. So, go ahead:

September 1, 2021

August is over, and here are some of our best quizzes from August. Enjoy: 1. QUIZ: Only Ajebutters Can Get 10/21 On This Quiz Some people like to form ajepako when they’re really ajebutter. Are you one of them? Let’s find out. 2. QUIZ: Sorry, If You’re Under 25 There’s No Way You Can Pass […]

December 29, 2021

A new year is right around the corner. Before we go into 2022, enjoy some of our top quizzes from this year. 1. QUIZ: Only Nigerian Gen Z’ers Can Make It To The End Of This Musicians Quiz Forget about your age. If you can make it to the end of this quiz, you’re definitely […]

November 12, 2019

Are you a single pringle, stuck in a complicated situationship or happily married to the love of your life? This quiz is here to guess your current relationship status, and as you know, Zikoko quizzes are incredibly accurate (don’t quote us). So, give a shot:

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

November 22, 2019

It can be very stressful when you’re trying to find the love of your life, but you only keep meeting people that are exactly like your yeye ex. To help you be more aware of that problem, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know the kind of people you are attracting. Take it to […]

More from Her

January 22, 2022

African music has always had its place at the top of the global music industry. These days, with tech switching up the scene and genres blending, everyone keep bringing their A game especially these six female African artistes. 

Read here:

January 18, 2022

Apart from not being able to find shoes their size, tall Nigerian women often deal with comments like “you are too tall for that dress” or questions like “will you marry a short man?” In this article, Chigozie talks about how to be a tall girl in Nigeria. 
Read here:

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X