84-year-old Pastor and founder of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Odi-Ajaye Zone, John Olusola Ojo, recently went to pay the dowry of his wife, Olabisi, 70, after 46 years of marriage.
In an interview with Tribune, Pastor Ojo said he decided to honor his wife by going to pay her dowry in September, years after her family initially disagreed on their union.
Going down memory lane, Pastor Ojo said when he met Olabisi during his youth, he was very poor and also had come from a poor family background. Olabisi on the other hand, was from a priviledged home. At the time they met, she was living with her Uncle who was grooming her for one of his colleagues who worked as a driver at the Nigeria Railway Corporation.
Bisi however, refused to give in to her uncle's demands as her heart was already with Olusola Ojo and she was ready to stay with him, despite his poor background.
For refusing to do as he requested, Olabisi was often victimised by her uncle but that did not dissuade her as she stood her grounds that she would marry no other person but Pa Ojo.
On many occasions, her uncle will beat her into coma so that she could denounce me. Because of Bisi's determination to marry me, she would not change her mind even when her uncle took her to Kafanchan in the northern part of Nigeria, with the belief that distance will remove my love from her heart. One day, after serial persecutions, Bisi returned to me and assured me that even if I had married five wives, she is ready to become the sixth.
"When all persuasions to make my in-laws accept their daughter's bride price from me failed, the General Superintendent of the Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria, advised us to go by statutory marriage through which we were certified as husband and wife in 1972. Few years into our marriage, my in-laws had a change of heart; since then we have maintained a good rapport," he said.
Pa Ojo says they lived so happily that his in-laws forgot to ask him for the dowry of their daughter.
"In fact, the relationship with all my in-laws had been so cordial such that nobody was asking for bride price anymore but because of my belief as a Christian, bride price is a must in God's view; so I must pay it, at least if it is just to show how much I value my dear wife – Olabisi''.
On her part, Mrs Ojo said she agreed to stick with her husband at the time when he as poor because she knew she could afford to take care of the him.
"I knew I could take care of him, I concluded so because my parents were financially buoyant – my mother was a produce buyer while my father was a commercial farmer. But to my people, he was poor beyond redemption, they called him 'one-man-one-jacket.' It took much pacification before I was allowed to marry him. I thank God for his mercy on both of us, our children inclusive for whom we have become today. I have to thank Him especially for His special kindness to me. Up till this moment, I have never had any cause to regret that I married my husband. Most especially, I am grateful to God that I am also among those women who were married traditionally; appreciating me before my people by paying my dowry. I am indeed happy that it happened to me," she enthused.