Man hangs self over hardship, alleged wife’s infidelity

Residents of No. 6, Asignbi Lane, Amarata, a suburb of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, were thrown into mourning when they woke up yesterday to see the dangling body of a 42-year-old man and father of seven, Mr. Gbemede Kitchen, who took his own life.

The man, a former councillor and employee of Ekeremor Local Council, committed suicide by hanging himself to the roof of the uncompleted building, after using the curtains as rope. The deceased, popularly known as G.K. Bekegbo, did not leave any suicide note behind.

While family of the deceased believe the man took his life because of his wife’s alleged refusal to give him sex, others said the man ended it all because of hardship and frustration, as he was being owed over eight months’ salary arrears.

Mr. Benjamin Samuel, caretaker in the compound, told The Guardian that the victim’s death was shocking, explaining that there was no sign of worries from the man before the incident.

“We charged our mobile phones together on Wednesday night and his children were around with him last night, though his wife was not around. I saw him making calls after charging his phone to know the whereabouts of his wife before the nightfall, but she was nowhere to be found.

“I am their caretaker, it was a big shock to me; I did not believe my own neighbour could be driven to commit suicide. I was sleeping before the shout of his children and other neighbours woke me up yesterday morning. He died in a room that the children were not sleeping in. I was the one that untied and brought him down. I tried to see if he could still breathe. I pressed and poured water on him, but it was too late.

Also speaking, a woman who said she was the deceased’s elder sister said Kitchen never disclosed his burden to family members. “Kitchen was a civil servant, working in Ekeremor Local Council, which he had served as a councillor. Though the salary was not forthcoming, I guess he died of frustration and hunger,” she said.

The late councillor served as a supervisory Member on Health of the Rural Development Authority (RDA) in 2000 during the late D.S.P Alameiseigha’s administration.When The Guardian visited the deceased home, his wife, children and kinsmen were seen gathered and making frantic arrangement on how to handle the situation.

Many of the sympathisers said Kitchen was well- known among politicians from the area.‎ It was gathered that lately, the wife, Madam Beauty Kitchen, became the breadwinner of the family, operating a kerosene retail business.

A neighbour, who pleaded anonymity, said the deceased was not in good terms with his wife, who he complained of starving him of sex. But another sympathiser exonerated the wife, said: “This man’s wife is the breadwinner and he does nothing.

“Every year, this woman gives birth to babies and there is no money to take care of the children. So, the woman got tired, saying she could not continue giving birth like this.

May be because they were both uneducated, there are better ways of stopping childbirth, not refusing to have sex. This man died out of negligence and lack of education, not infidelity.”

Elder brother to the deceased, Chief D. M. Apelibiri, also dismissed the claims of alleged infidelity against the wife, saying the police arrested the woman on her way back home from work. “The woman came home the next day after she secured the release of her petroleum products only to meet the lifeless body of her husband.”

In this article:
Gbemede Kitchen
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