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The danger of swimming in another man’s river, by Clem Oluwole


The danger of swimming in another man’s river, by Clem Oluwole

The covetous practice of a man swimming in another man’s river is as old as mankind. Recall the Biblical days when King David, standing in his balcony, sighted Bathsheba, the river belonging to one of his soldiers, taking her bath in a nearby roofless bathroom.

He coveted her and decided to swim in the warm river. The adulterous encounter later resulted in a pregnancy. To shorten a long but familiar story, the king got the river owner, Uriah the Hittite, killed in the battle front to cover the crime he committed in the sex front.

Although King David might be immune to prosecution for his crime, his Creator ensured that he paid dearly by taking peace away from his household as exemplified by the rebellion led by one of his sons, named Absalom. Even the child Bathsheba bore for him from the swimming encounter was not spared.

On Friday, February 9, 2024, came a report from the sleepy town of Akure in Ondo state that an oil mogul, named Sesan Adelabu, alias Emirate, caught one of his security men swimming in his river and right on their matrimonial bed. What audacity! Enraged, he produced a machete and allegedly butchered the guard turned swimmer.

He did not stop there. Emirate then pounced on his pretty wife, Bolu, in a manner that a cat would descend on a rat and hacked her to death. Mission accomplished, the billionaire turned against himself: he reached for a bottle of snipper and gulped down the deadly liquid. In one fell swoop, the household located at the Government Reservation Area (GRA) had three cadavers to contend with.

The phenomenon of men swimming in other men’s rivers has been occurring in different parts of this country in recent years. On January 2, 2015, a Maiduguri man was knifed to death after being caught swimming in another man’s river in the bush. The river owner, Bulama Modu of Ngamma village, near Maiduguri, was arraigned and subsequently convicted a year later on a one-count charge of culpable homicide, not punishable with death, contrary to section 224 of the penal code.

Bulama Modu bagged five years or a fine of N250,000 for his murderous effort.
According to the report, Modu had told the court that when his river, Faltama Kundura, flowed from his house on the judgement day to attend a “wedding ceremony” of her friend in a neighbouring village, he became suspicious and stealthily tracked the flow. He had suspected the deceased named Bunu Zarami of having an eye on his spouse. So, he made sure he too never went off his radar.

Eventually, he tracked the duo to the bush where he found Bunu pants down and swimming energetically on top of his wife. He told the court that when the swimmer sighted him, he panicked, drew a dagger and wielded it menacingly in order to scare him (“an intruder”) away. But the river owner took advantage of the shocking state the swimmer found himself momentarily, fended off the dagger and knifed him repeatedly until life deserted him.

The Maiduguri tragedy came not long after a similar episode took place in Bayelsa state where a 53-year-old man, Raphael Solomon, in a moment of rage shot dead a man believed to be his wife’s lover while he was swimming vigorously like catfish in his river at a cassava processing mini plant located in the Aduku Community of Sagbama Local Government Area.

A close family source said the deceased lover boy, identified as 28-year-old Preye Bernard, was the owner of the cassava processing plant used by the couple to process their produce after cultivation in Odi community.

It was gathered that the angry husband, who had been informed of his wife’s alleged immoral relationship with the younger and perhaps, more active swimmer, trailed her to the venue and caught them in the midst of the aqua hostilities, to use sportswriters’ parlance.

When I was growing up, an uncle of mine told me that if someone threatens to shoot you while hostilities are at the peak or you are about to melt down, you will tell the gunner to open fire! I hope that was not what happened on the Aduku cassava farm that tragic day. Is my good old buddy, John Aduku, a retired Radio Nigeria correspondent, though from Idomaland, reading this piece?

But the average Yoruba man cannot waste his precious time monitoring his river wherever it flows. They have perfected all manner of checks to scare adulterous swimmers away from their rivers. The checks or traps include magun, cockcrow, agglutination and maje’la (don’t eat okra or okro) just to mention some. And this is how they function:

Magun (not to be confused with Mangun, a community in Plateau state) is a deterrent. It is planted in the river. Once an adulterous swimmer dives into the river, he will come out and somersault three times and thereafter answer his final summons.

The cockcrow is a trap. The swimmer, upon jumping into the river, will feel like crowing like a red-headed fowl. In fact, he will announce to the river that he wants to crow and there is no stopping him. The swimmer will announce his arrival in hell with a deafening crow after giving up the ghost.

READ ALSO: The good, the bad and the ugly sides of GSM, by Clem Oluwole

Agglutination is a dog-based talisman. Once the swimmer jumps into the river, he stays trapped in it in the manner of mating dogs and the duo may remain inseparable until death will do them part!

Maje’la. This is a tricky one. You can swim adulterously and freely and get away with it. But the day the swimmer will answer the final summons is the day he tastes okro soup. So, if you see a man avoiding okro soup like a plague, it could be that he is an adulterous swimmer playing safe.

I once advised trigger-happy and knife-wielding spouses to apply any of the solutions listed above instead of dispensing jungle justice that could backfire on them. Juju is not known to law. If any swimmer gets his just dessert while on an illicit swimming spree, the river owner cannot be held liable let alone suffer the kind of punishment the law prescribes for husbands who mete out jungle justice to their rivals.
Perhaps, Emirate was not privy to my advice.

He ought not to have thrown away his life just because his wife let in an illegal swimmer into his river. As a mogul, there are millions of prettier ladies out there who would be willing to eat from his palms.

My late mum once told me that if a man hugs his early grave on account of a woman, more than a thousand and one of them will gather to weep on that grave, blaming him for being so unreasonable!

My parting shot: women who are married to rich men should know that they cannot eat their cake and have it. Most wealthy men are too busy investing their energy on making more money for the family to care about their rivers lying fallow for too long.

They usually have little or no time, not to speak of energy, to swim. It is better for such women to opt out of such marriages than descend so low as to grant illegal entry to domestic servants to do the swimming on behalf of oga “patapata”.



The opinions and views expressed in this article belong solely to the original author and other contributors. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or opinions of Neptune Prime.

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