Ruth Uche, mother of the 3 sets of twins who was abandoned by her husband, Benjamin Uche, and given welfare by Lagos state governor, Akinwumi Ambode, has been in the headlines for the past couple of days.
Benjamin reportedly abandoned them as a result of the expected birth of another set of twins from his wife, making it the third in a row – and he was scared about the financial implications of taking care of his family.
The Nation reports that Benjamin returned to his wife on Wednesday, after being away for three months.
Here is an account of their emotional reunion:
Uche, after days of persuasion by his wife Ruth yesterday returned to a new home – a yet-to-be-painted mini-flat in Ogun State.
The Uches used to stay in Agege on the outskirts of Lagos. Mrs. Uche, a teacher, had two sets of twins. Another set came in February.
Just as this reporter was about to leave her apartment, she came face to face with a light complexioned man wearing an Arsenal jersey, a pair of jeans and slippers, holding two polythene bags.
He looked confused, uttered no word, save for the exchange of pleasantries and made to move away when Hope, the Uches’ former neighbour, saw him.
“Papa ejima (father of twins), where are you coming from? So you are still alive? Please come inside and sit down,” she exclaimed.
Upon hearing ‘Papa ejima’, Mrs Uche rushed to the door. She didn’t run into his arms to hug or kiss him, but stood and watched him for some minutes after offering him one of the plastic seats in the living room.
But he did not sit down, rather, he went straight for his newborn babies. He was seeing the three months olds for the first time.
Uche held both on each arm, smiling and then collapsed into the blue chair, admiring them.
Still looking at the babies, he asked: “Where are my other children? How are you people?”
Hope told Uche that the other children were at her aunt’s house not too far from the neighbourhood.
After about seven minutes when Mrs. Uche seemed to have regained her composure, she entered the kitchen, brought a sachet water in a silver steel plate and offered it to her husband who refused to collect it.
After much persuasion from all the women in the room, Uche finally collected the water and from the way he gulped it, it was obvious he was very thirsty.
As Mrs. Uche sat down on one of the children’s plastic chairs, she asked her husband if he was back for good.
“God I thank you for answering my prayers. So, you are here. You look emaciated. You have lost so much weight. I hope you have come back for good. Please, do not leave us again,” she told Uche, who did not reply.
Having allowed him play with his babies and relaxed for about 20 minutes, this reporter, reminded Uche of their several telephone discussions.
He said: “Like I told you on phone, it was not easy for me. I contemplated suicide on several occasions. I cannot believe I am here, holding my kids for the first time since they were born three months ago.
“When I left, I initially went to the village where I spent a month. After that, I came back to Lagos but stayed with my friend around Oko-Oba in Agege. I still live with him.
“I know that I was not far from them, but I just did not went to return without a better solution on how to cater for my home. I was ashamed too to come back to that house to see them after I’d abandoned them and run away.
“But after our discussions and my wife told me that they had moved, I went to our old house and asked one of the neighbors who had been here for direction so that I could come and see them,” he said, shaking his head.