A 42-year old female preacher was hacked to death by suspected Muslim fanatics in the early hour of Saturday July 9, while evangelizing around Gbazango and Pipeline area of Kubwa, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The preacher, Mrs. Eunice Elisha, the wife of a Redeemed Pastor who was also a deaconess at the Divine Touch Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Old NEPA Road, Phase 4, Kubwa, was reportedly beheaded and stabbed in the stomach and leg by her killers.
According to reports, the killers left the preacher in the pool of her blood and carefully put her “severed head on her Bible, with megaphone and cell phone beside her dead body” but the Commissioner of Police in a statement said her body was intact.
The wife of the Vice President, Dolapo Osinbajo paid a condolence visit to the family and met the husband of the deceased, Pastor Olawale Elisha narrating the blow-by-blow account of the incident to journalists.
Mr. Elisha said that his wife had gone out to preach in the neighbourhood at about 5 am only for him to hear the report of her murder.
“She goes out every morning for evangelism, which means when she wakes up in the morning, she takes her megaphone and preaches around the neighborhood.”
He narrated that his wife went out the same time as usual; but death was calling;
“On Saturday she went out the same time, around 6:30 am, two of my children used to go out to play football at a field close to the house, but my children came back and told me that they heard some footballers saying that a woman preaching this morning was killed, and her megaphone was still there, that they cut her head and her legs.”
“I told my children that it couldn’t be their mother, but they insisted we should go there and check, I put on my clothes and went there when we got there, we didn’t see anybody, they had even covered her blood with sand.”
“However, a policeman confirmed to me that such incident happened, and the remains of the woman had been taken to Phase 4 Police Station, Kubwa.
“I rushed to my house and drove to the police station with two of my children, and at the entrance of the station I saw a pickup van coming out, inside it I saw the lifeless body of my wife at the back of the pickup Van, at this point, my children and I burst into tears.”
The widowed pastor narrated what might have caused the death of his wife. He recalled a day his wife told him that there is a mosque at the back of their house where the head of the mosque condemned her preaching saying she doesn’t preach the truth about God. That he cautioned her to be very careful.
In other incident, he said a Muslim cleric had came to their house and asked his wife for food, “but my wife told him that she does not have any food at home, and the Mallam left.” This was collaborated by their son John James who said that his mother asked him to tell the strange Mallam that they don’t have food.
According to James, few days after the Mallam came to their house, his mother and himself took ill and almost died. He said that her mother kept emphasizing that the strange Mallam caused their illness.
Late Eunice was born on July 23, 1974; her husband stated they got married in July 2000.
The bereaved Pastor Elisha stated:
“My wife was so committed to anything that is of God. She was a reckless giver to God’s work; she rarely missed any programs in the church. We have seven children.”
Her husband said she had no quarrel with anyone that could have warranted her murder, describing her as a martyr. He said:
“I see her as a martyr, and she died for Christ. And whether the people are caught or not, they should forgive them; my prayer is that if they can accept Christ, that will be a gain to Christ.”
Meanwhile, the Divisional Police Officer, as well as the Divisional Crime Officer at Phase 4 Police Station claimed the case had been transferred to homicide department of the FCT Command.
Six suspects were arrested in connection with the gruesome murder of the preacher, Mrs. Elisha and are in Police custody currently undergoing interrogation. The police assured that the outcome of the investigation would be made public.
The Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, Alkali Baba Usman, commiserated with the family members of the deceased over the unfortunate incident and assured them and other residents of the area of the commitment and determination of the police command to fish out perpetrators of the heinous crime and bring them to justice.
He urged residents to remain calm and cooperate with Police in the ongoing investigation. The CP firmly dispelled the report that the preacher’s head and leg was chopped off.
In a statement released to the press, it reads: “The Command wants to state that apart from marks of injury inflicted on some parts of her body, all parts of the deceased body are intact. The Police has taken custody of her remains for preservation and examination.”
Reports said some of the living in shanties near the scene of the incident have fled as many of them were seen carrying their belongings for fear of arrest by the police or reprisal attacks.
In her condolence message, the Vice President’s wife, Mrs Osinbajo wrote: “May her gentle soul rest in peace.”