Saturday, 9 May 2015

Ex-Footballer, Top-Tv Personality Reveals Why He Divorced His Wife

Image result for pictures of john fasheun
Ex-footballer and top TV personality John Fashanu means different things to dif­ferent people. As with other internation­al celebrities, Fash, as he is called by fans, has had his own share of media attention arising from controversies. The most recent be­ing the hot exchange between him and his es­tranged wife, Abigail Igwe on the real reasons their marriage crashed.

 Abigail, who is former Super Eagles captain, JosephYobo’s mother-in-law, has dismissed allegations by Fash that she had a female lover while still married to him and that she was violent, attacking him on two oc­casions. For the lady, whose daughter Adaeze Igwe inherited her pretty looks which led to her clinching the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) crown, she is glad that her union with the ex-Wimbledon football club player has end­ed. But Fashanu with pictures of his wounds which he said were sustained during one of his ex-wife’s attacks and copies of filed police complaints, insists that he is lucky to have left the marriage alive. He also had his sister Ade­sina explain to Saturday Sun how violent his wife was during their three-year marriage. In this interview with KEMI YESUFU and AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, the first he has granted local me­dia on his failed marriage, he also talked on why he wouldn’t mind working with the incoming All Progressives Congress (APC) government, despite campaigning vigorously for President Goodluck Jonathan. Fashanu, who flatly denied talks that he was given millions of naira to work for the Peoples Democratic Party campaign team, also explained why he will accept a job in the incoming government, if offered. Excerpts:
What is the genesis of the crisis in your marriage as being reported in the social media and a UK tabloid?
I feel that in any area of life, there has to be love and commitment. When anyone in any endeavour talks money, money and money, then there will be problems. Abigail, my wonderful Igbo wife has an eye for money. She had her eyes on my money, my houses and my lands. (Showing reporters a plaque with names). You will notice that my houses are in the names of my children. My houses and landed property are for my children. But when you try to change documents in your favour, that’s wrong. My estranged wife had four children. She says she is a lawyer but I have never seen her practise law.
How did you meet her?
We met at T.B.Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations where I went visiting my father in the Lord. We met in 2008 and we dated for sometime though I was busy at that time. My sister who is here can testify that it was constant war with my wife. Here is a woman who like other women, society believes should be joined with the man to become one. But I can show you evidence (presents pictures of his wounded hand and leg) of the violence I suffered in the hands of my wife. The first time she attacked me she used my Samurai sword. She came with her son to attack me because we don’t live together. She lives in a pocky two-bedroom apartment which I rented for her. I reported this unprovoked attack to the police. But pastors prevailed on me to drop the case. My sister is here and she can testify that she came one day to ask for money and when she didn’t get it, she smashed things up and tried destroying as many things as she could. I now left for Columbia with T.B. Joshua and while I was participating in his wonderful crusade, I got a call that my house was being attacked. I asked by who and my sister said my wife led ten other people to attack my house. Look, (showing reporters pictures of a battered fe­male), this is the woman my wife said she caught me in bed with. A simple maid.
What about your wife’s allegation that she caught you in bed with two women at the same time?
You know, my wife told me that she caught her former husband in bed with her housemaid. And I have heard of women saying their husbands were caught with housemaids. Maybe, that’s how she (Abigail) sees men. But her allegation is absolute nonsense. I just told you and my sister said the same thing, that I was in Columbia with T.B.Joshua when my wife supposedly came to the house and caught me with two women. You know, we haven’t real­ly lived together. If it is true she caught me in bed with two women, why didn’t she divorce me then? I am the one who realised I couldn’t cope with a monster and filed for divorce. Worst still, she isn’t satisfied with lying against me that she caught me with two women, she left for Turkey to stay with her daughter and catch some fun. Yet, she has been calling members of my football academy, trying to rally them against me. She has been looking for who she will convince to sue me based on lies that I cheated them, promising to fund the legal battle. But my players have been calling me nonstop to tell me what she is planning.
You also accused her of being a lesbian, that you even walked into her and her part­ner once. How true is this?
Yes, she was sleeping with her spiritual girlfriend. I told you she stays in a pocky apartment I rented for her. I was visiting one day and I left for a few min­utes to return back. She didn’t know that her friend Angela didn’t lock the door because I told her I was coming back. And when I walked in, I saw them in a compromising position. They would swear that they were praying. Isn’t that what she said? But they didn’t realise that I stood for a while watching them before they noticed my presence. There was a time we were always in the house and she wouldn’t sleep with me, rather, she would sleep with her girlfriend and now tell me, they were praying. She even con­verted her girlfriend to her driver.
Did you ever question her on these strange actions?
Yes I did and many times too. In fact, having that lady between us is one of the major reasons we broke up. Sometimes I don’t see my wife for months.
It seems you really wanted your marriage to work?
Yes. I did all I could, but she was so violent and hot tempered. Once, I got to the Church here in Abu­ja and I heard that my wife got into a fist fight. She fought because she didn’t want to open her handbag for screening. She felt she is Mrs. Fashanu and that makes her too big to be screened like others. When I got to Church, she wanted me to fight and I said no and she wasn’t happy about that.
Your sister alleged that the last time your wife led ten people to attack your house, she was angry over a phone call that your house was being sold. Why should she fight over the sale of a house she doesn’t own and doesn’t live in?
Well, she told me she believed that God has giv­en her wealth through me. She said I am wealthy and God has brought me to her in order for her to benefit.
You also alleged that she stole your money. How true is this?
They broke into the house like we have told you. I went into my bedroom when I returned and I discovered that one million naira in cash had been stolen from me along with other personal effects. I made a formal complaint to the police about this. Who else knows where my safe is but my wife? My wife in trying to justify her breaking into my house, said my sister here brought the maid so that I can marry her. My maid is 4 ft 1 -inche tall and has four children. I say, I have dated some of the most beau­tiful women in the world and now she says I am sleeping with my maid. My wife hasn’t slept in my house for seven months.
How does this whole thing make you feel?
Of course I am not happy. I feel sad that we have to wash our dirty linen in public. This is the most disappointing thing and it’s downgrading. I hate to tell stories and I don’t tend to talk too much, but I think she (wife) has serious spiritual challenges which have to be addressed or somebody will die. I am happy that I left with my life intact. I filed for divorce when I found out that things are not work­ing. Anyone who has been married for how long we were and you had two police cases, that relationship isn’t working. Each time my wife got upset, she would relocate to her daughter’s house and for like two months, she wouldn’t respond to texts or phone calls. The worst thing about her is that she is an ex­cellent fighter. We have a little misunderstanding in London, I am thinking we can work it out and the next thing she is fighting me on the street. I am an international star in London for goodness sake.
But your wife has denied fighting you wondering how she could have fought a huge man like you who has martial arts training?
I am talking about her verbally fighting me. Be­sides, fighting isn’t about her size or my size. I am not someone who was brought up to hit women. And as someone with martial arts training, I am taught to defend myself, that is why I didn’t get too many injuries when my wife attacked me with a samurai sword. I am trained to show restraint and be disciplined. I tell you if it were a local, typical Nigerian man who found himself in my situation, somebody would have been dead by now.
Would say you should have courted each other longer to really see if you were com­patible?
The woman I saw three years back isn’t the one I have been dealing with in the last two years. And I was in love. Love is blind to all. I tell you the person I knew three years ago was a beautiful, loving wom­an. She never mentioned money. Even when I gave her money, she would return it. Now, if you give her money even for her son, she won’t give him.
When you call her and ask if he (son) got the mon­ey, he will retort that ‘I didn’t get any money’. She couldn’t even pay for her rent. I paid for her because there is no way she can stay in my house. Ooh she is too fiery to live in my house.
Why did you support President Goodluck Jonathan during the presidential poll?
You see, our family supports government. For us, it’s really not about PDP, APC or APGA. For us, what we seek is good governance and if we see someone who we believe is giving good gov­ernance, we support that person. At the stage, we supported Jonathan because the sports sector was in a very good state. Sport was at its best because we had someone who cared. So, I followed the person who cared. I am a technocrat and my technical side is sports. What makes me even happier is that the incoming government from my interactions with some of its leaders will not play politics with sports and other critical sectors. They have said, they will be working with technocrats. This means things will get done. They want change.
Could you have met with General Mu­hammadu Buhari (retd)?
No. I said I met with some of the APC leaders, not one particular leader. And they are making it clear that even if you are PDP and you are an indi­vidual of repute, who is a technocrat, they will bring you in to work for them.
Aren’t you worried about the public’s perception of you already stating the will­ingness to work for the APC government less than two months after being part of the Jonathan campaign team? You were not only seated next to Chief Femi Fani Kayode during some of his media parleys, you even addressed the press on your own a few times?
What would you now say to Alhaji Atiku (Abu­bakar)? What would you say to all other friends of mine who have crossed over? This is a silly ques­tion. As you can see in politics, there is no winner or loser. And I said to you from the start that, we are about supporting government. As a technocrat which I am, I follow government, not parties. I de­serve the right to do what I can for sports and I have to do this by supporting government. It is quite simple.
How do you feel about the outcome of the presidential election?
I was so proud of Jonathan. I was so proud of Prophet T.B.Joshua (who said he correctly predict­ed the election outcome). I was proud of the way President Muhammadu Buhari accepted President Goodluck Jonathan’s phone call. All the pastors and the Western powers who were supposed to know the correct outcome, simply failed Nigeria with their predictions. They said 2015 is Nigeria’s doomsday. But they all turned out wrong because one man said, no, ‘I am stepping down’. Fifth col­umnists were telling Jonathan, ‘let’s fight on’. But he said no. I was indeed very proud of being a Nige­rian because of how things ended up.
So, what do you think should be the sports agenda of the incoming govern­ment?
Well, we are still looking at how things play out. But I say, please let’s get a technocrat to run our sports. Let’s not put in a politician again because the money seems to always disappear when they are in there and it all falls to the technocrats to manage the situation. If we haven’t had excellent athletes along the way, I don’t know where we would have been. I can’t now be the minister of Aviation, though if you give me the job, I will take it. But if I am made the minister of sports and you say you want to hire a football coach with N5 billion, I will say no. That same money can be used to build other sports like badminton, boxing and athletics. So I won’t ap­prove spending N5 billion to hire one coach and that’s because I am a technocrat. It’s good that we’ve had success stories when round pegs have been put in round holes. For me, I Thank God I am not a hungry person. By 24-25 years I was a millionaire in British pounds. I won’t get into government to make money. The same thing with Buhari, he is not coming into government to make money. I have shown that I don’t do things for money. Like, I didn’t support Jonathan for money. I didn’t make one kobo campaigning for him.
So, you mean you didn’t make money despite being close to members of the Jonathan/Sambo campaign team? It was even said that you were given not less than N50 million by that team?
I stand here to say that I didn’t make one kobo from the campaigns, not even from the media committee headed by Femi Fani-Kayode. I only was given about N460,000 to organise a press conference and six articles were published. It is absolute nonsense to say I collected N50 million, though I would say I bloody well deserve it. I worked hard for the name I used to sell the Jon­athan ticket. But I worked to sell Jonathan and I didn’t ask for a kobo. I didn’t look back. Whatev­er Femi and his team did, good luck to them. All I did was bring in the aspect of Jonathan’s success in sports. I didn’t get my hands dirty or anything of that sort.
Will a John Fashanu as sports minister in the Buhari government be a bad idea?
Well, ask the people. It is not a question you should ask me. What I can say is that if a Nige­rian is appointed into government to serve the people, how dare you say no? If someone evalu­ates you and gives you a slot in government, you shouldn’t turn it down. It is just like when I was asked to play for Nigeria, I didn’t turn it down. I came. In fact, I came twice. But some fifth col­umnists didn’t want me and told themselves that they will mess me up. But they didn’t know that I am in the media. As at 1992 I was the head of my division in the BBC. For nine years, I held the biggest show on television called The Glad­iators. For nine years, the show had 18 million viewers every Saturday. I paid my way to Nigeria when Otto Gloria was Eagles coach. He told me though I was a star in England, I wouldn’t fit in here in Nigeria. The second time, I was brought by Chief MKO Abiola on his private jet. I played with the team during training at Games Village, Surulere. Not one person passed the ball to me, from Segun Odegbami, to Henry Nwosu to the late Muda Lawal. For nine years, I wrote letter after letter to the different NFA chairmen offer­ing my services until one day when Sir Bobby Robson said, ‘this guy is a star’ and he invited me to play for England. And this is my greatest achievement, when you think that I was the first Nigerian to play for England. So, I am someone who wants to represent Nigeria. In fact, when I got married to my Ivorian ex-wife, the agreement was that after nine years, we would return to Ni­geria. But my wife didn’t want to come to Nige­ria. But getting back to your question, I am an all round sports person. I am a martial arts specialist, I shoot and I box. I am a globally acknowledged sports technocrat, so why wouldn’t Nigeria give me something to showcase my proven skills?



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