Wives, children groan as husbands leave for greener pastures | Dailytrust

Wives, children groan as husbands leave for greener pastures

Young men in states across Nigeria’s northern region are migrating to other states in search of greener pastures. The economic hardship in the country,...

43-year-old Mrs Luisy Sunday
43-year-old Mrs Luisy Sunday

Young men in states across Nigeria’s northern region are migrating to other states in search of greener pastures. The economic hardship in the country, coupled with lack of jobs, insecurity and low business income, is forcing these men to leave their families in the villages and migrate to other states in search of a better life. 

Our correspondent reports that in Niger State, the recent ban on commercial motorcycles in Minna, the state capital, has further pushed many youths to go as far as Kogi, Lagos and Zuba in the Federal Capital Territory for motorcycle business.   

Daily Trust Saturday gathered that the scenario has placed more responsibilities on wives, who have now taken up the burden of raising and caring for their children alone. Some of the wives, our correspondent gathered, have gone as far as seeking divorce against men who stay away for too long. 

One of the women who spoke to our correspondent in confidence said, “Nothing disturbs me more than my husband staying far away from his family. There was a time my son was ill and his condition worsened at night.

“At 12 midnight, I didn’t know what to do, I lost control, and my husband was in Kaduna. Eventually, it was a neighbour who assisted in taking us on his motorcycle to the hospital.”

Another housewife whose husband works in Abuja as a taxi driver said, “It is not easy being far from my husband, especially for my children. The children miss their father.

“I stay in a family house where other women are always with their husbands, and sometimes, if my daughter sees other children with their fathers, she will ask: ‘Mummy where is our daddy?”

Malam Lawali, who left his family in Kebbi State to open a provision shop in Minna said he went home to see his two wives once a year, especially during the month of Ramadan.

“They complain bitterly, but they don’t have a choice because I am out to provide for the family. I call them every day. They want me to always visit them, but I won’t be able to do that,” he said.

Another husband, Mohammed, who is currently in Kano in search of a better life for his family, said his wife had threatened him with divorce, arguing that he could find something good to do at home.

“Eventually, she came to understand the situation. However, I visit home regularly,” he said.  

Also, Abubakar Mohammed Galbu, who hails from Rugar Bade in Bindawa Local Government Area of Katsina State, migrated to Kaduna in search of a greener pasture.

With his wife and children left in the village, Galbu returns home after every two months to ensure that whatever financial gains he makes is properly utilised. 

According to him, there are many reasons men leave home in search of greener pastures, including poverty, lack of employment, debt and even family quarrels. He, however, said the coming of telecommunication made life easier as he is able to communicate with his family, even from afar.  


“I came to Kaduna to earn a living so as to take care of my family, but I never exceed 40 days without returning home. There are some men that left home at a very young age and have not returned home. Some of them have married in the city, leaving their wives in the village,” he said. 

He said sometimes women seek divorce from men who left home for many years.   

Similarly, Musa Dallaji, who claims to return home in Katsina State after every month, said that sometimes men who left their homes in search of greener pastures become ashamed to return home, especially when they are unable to make the expected financial progress that could change their statuses.  

“Majority of such men are based in Lagos, Port Harcourt and other states in the South. There are men in my village in Katsina State who migrated to different cities for menial jobs, but a majority of them ensure that they return home after a month or two to visit their kids and other family members,” he said.   

Narrating her experience, 43-year-old Mrs Luisy Sunday, an indigene of Benue State but resident in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, said she engaged in a local drink business, popularly called kunu dawa to help sustain the family since her husband is away in search of a greener pasture. 

She said life became challenging after her husband lost his job in 2018 and is now in Benue doing menial jobs. She told our correspondent that she also sold vegetables and other food items to help sustain the family, even though her husband sends a monthly stipend of N15,000. 

“Sometimes he doesn’t even come to see us in Lafia due to the nature of what he is doing to cater for the family. And each time he comes around, he always looks worried, thinking of how he would survive the economic hardship,” she said. 

Families must find means of living together – University don

Speaking on the economic hardship that pushes young men to abandon their families in search of greener pastures elsewhere, an expert and lecturer in the Federal University, Lafia, Dr Job Pristine-Magip, said the situation was not encouraging.  

Pristine-Magip urged spouses to always think outside the box and find different means of survival, adding that families are expected to always enjoy quality time together.

He said, “There is massive unemployment everywhere, so if a wife or husband gets a job in another state, you don’t expect him or her to turn it down, simply because they want to be together.”

He said most government policies, such as high electricity tariffs and lack of transparency in the fuel subsidy regime were the major factors responsible for the breakup of many families in the country.

Abubakar Akote (Minna), Mohammed Ibrahim Yaba (Kaduna) & Umar Muhammed (Lafia)

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