There were no signs that it would be her last day on earth.
When Mrs Eunice Elisha, a deaconess with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) set out from her home at about 5.30pm last Saturday, she had no premonition that some assailants were going to cut her life short and send her packing from this world. But that was the case. She was gruesomely murdered while preaching around Gbazango-West area of Kubwa in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Even now, days after her demise, Pastor Olawale Elisha, her bereaved husband, and indeed, the entire family, are still finding it hard to believe that the preacher is no more.
He told Daily Sun: “I am a pastor, and a pastor depends on what God gives to him. Sincerely speaking, my wife was the breadwinner of this home. That is the truth. She sold things to take care of the house. She was the one God used to take care of this house.
“In the past, I was into business. But my wife and I agreed about two years ago that I needed to face the ministry since the business was affecting it. She said I should be fasting and praying for people.
She was the one who paid the school fees and took care of other things,» Pastor Elisha revealed.
The cleric was surrounded by family members and some of the children of the murdered mother of seven when the correspondent paid a visit to the house on Monday.
He continued: “My wife always went out early in the morning for the ‘Morning Cry,’ to preach. On that fateful morning, she went around 5.30am and I was still in bed because we had a vigil overnight. She participated for a while and slept because she was going out to preach in the morning. Two of my boys are footballers, so they went to the field to play. And when they came back, they told me that they heard some footballers saying that they butchered a woman preaching early this morning.
“So, when I heard this, we trekked down with the short I was putting on and we did not see anybody, but we saw blood on the ground. I asked a policeman around and he said it is true but that they had taken her to Phase 4 Police Station. I went to the station with my children and when we got there, I saw the lifeless body of my wife at the back of the police van and there, she was taken to the mortuary. The incident happened between 5am and 5:30am because she usually went out by 5am and came back by 6am.»
How did he receive the devastating news? And what was the immediate reaction of the family? Pastor Elisha said sorrowfully: “I fell down when I saw the body of my wife covered. I cried. I was too tired and could not drive back home. Someone had to drive us back to the house.»
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He disclosed that his wife was a peace-loving woman, explaining that she was at peace with everyone. He also told the reporter that he warned his wife three weeks before her gruesome murder. He said an Imam in a nearby mosque had commended her wife’s preaching, but informed that he was uncomfortable with the whole thing.
Said he: “My wife never argued with anyone. She was the giving type and the church can confirm that. About three weeks ago, my wife went to the back of my house. That morning, after preaching, she came and told me that a man in the mosque heard her and called on people to listen to what she was saying.
“When she came back and told me about it, I warned her. I did that because I was a Muslim before I converted and became a Christian. I told her to be careful. I told her that although what the man in the mosque said was commendable, she needed to be careful.
“For about a week, she did not go out to preach because of the warning. That was about three weeks ago that I warned her. The comments made by the man in the mosque were not against her. In fact, they were commending her.”
Pastor Elisha said there was no prior warning from the assailants before they murdered his wife. But he affirmed that he had forgiven the assailants. According to him, as a Christian, it was not in his nature to seek personal revenge.
“There was no harassment or warning before she was murdered. My wife was a child of God. She did not have issues with anybody. We were married for 16 years and had seven children. I am not a lawyer or a law enforcement agent. All I can say is that I forgive those that killed my wife.
“There is no need to avenge her death. When we went to the place where her lifeless body was kept, the crowd said her head and breasts were removed. Till this moment, I have not seen her body. I only heard. I have not confirmed,» he said.
Wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, who is also a pastor with the RCCG, visited the Elishas at about 1:30pm on Sunday, the day after Mrs. Elisha’s killing.