Tension as murderers invade Abuja community
The killing of a deaconess, Eunice Olawale Elisha, of the Divine Touch Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Phase 4, Kubwa, Abuja, on Saturday, made the headlines, but investigations conducted by Daily Trust reveal that her murder was just one of many that occurred at that suburb of the capital city within three days.
While the killing of the deaconess threw the town into confusion, the shooting to death of a trader and two other persons, all within a space of three days, also served to increase the level of tension in Kubwa, these reporters reliably gathered.
The killings took place along with several other armed robbery cases in the town.
The persons were attacked and killed at different locations in Kubwa, one of the fastest growing satellite towns in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The husband of the deceased preacher, Mr Olawale Elisha, said the late Eunice had attended the Women in Ministry Conference of RCCG, Region 20, at Master’s Place, Utako, on the previous night.
He said she did not have enough rest when she left for her usual early morning evangelism at about 5:00a.m.
He said on the fateful day, the late mother of seven, whom he described as easy going, for the first time, left without participating in the family’s prayer which takes place early morning.
But, Elisha, in complete submission to the will of the Lord, said: “I see her as a martyr and she died for Christ. Whether the people (her murderers) are arrested or not I forgive them. My prayer is that they should accept Christ.”
Another resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said though the community engaged the service of private guards, the effort was inadequate.
He said residents of the area started facing security challenges when some people, many of them said to be foreigners, started residing in shanties close to the area.
He said though Deaconess Eunice screamed, she could not be rescued before the attackers killed her.
He said that she shouted, ‘blood of Jesus! Blood of Jesus!’ adding that, no help came her way. She was left in a pool of her own blood with her handset, Bible and megaphone beside her.
Many sympathisers, including the wife of the vice president, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, and Chairman of the Bwari Area Council, Musa Dikko, were among dignitaries who visited the family of the deceased.
About six persons have been arrested as police began investigation into the case. Among those arrested was a trader who has a container close to a scene of the murder along with his younger brother. They were said to have been whisked away by some police officers from their makeshift shop on the morning of the incident.
Residents said also among the people arrested were a recharge card seller and a computer applications dealer.
While Kubwa residents were yet to recover from the murder of the preacher, another man was killed around Jaji Street on the same day.
The young man was hacked to death by a group of boys, whom residents said have been terrorising them for some time now.
The deceased person’s landlord, who did not want to be named, said the man, after getting injured by his attackers, had struggled to get to his house before he finally gave up.
Also, on the same Saturday, a fruit seller was shot in the leg during a robbery operation, opposite a petrol station on Arab Road.
An abandoned petrol station at NYSC junction along the Kubwa Expressway occupied by some of traders was also attacked by unknown people.
Daily Trust reliably gathered that about 30 people occupy the petrol station which has not been in use for several years.
One of the occupants, who escaped, said that the attackers, who disguised themselves as police officers, arrived there at about 2:00a.m. on Saturday.
He said that the armed men, who claimed they were on routine search of the area, ordered them to hand over all their handsets and forced them to lie face down.
“One Malam Maunde, who sells recharge cards, confronted them and told them since they were police officers, they should tell us our offence,” he said.
“But they shot him, and also took his recharge cards from his pockets.”
Another occupant, Dan Galadima, who sustained injuries during the attack, said one Nafi’u, who also stayed in the building, escaped by jumping from the one-storey building.
He said the attackers escaped through a bush behind the petrol station and made their way into two waiting vehicles parked at the expressway.
He said the case was reported at a Kubwa police station.
Also, another man was tortured to death in Gbazango area in Kubwa, on Thursday. A vigilante leader in the area said the deceased was tortured for several hours before he died.
The vigilante leader described the torture as a form of jungle justice, adding that the man was tortured after he was accused of stealing a phone.
When contacted, the FCT police spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, said that six persons were arrested in connection with the female preacher’s death.
The Assistant Superintendent of Police said the FCT Commissioner of Police, Alkali Bala, has ordered a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID), to lead a team of investigators on the matter.
He, however, said that he was yet to
The abandoned filling station at Kubwa, Abuja where armed men allegedly killed some people at the weekend. Photos: Adam Umar
The slain pastor, Mrs Eunice Elisha