•She was breadwinner of the family, he says
From Fred Itua, Abuja
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.»
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.
Land speculators have taken over our land, Lagos teachers lament
…Beg Ambode to help recover stolen land
By Kehinde Aderemi
Teachers of Model College, Badore, Lagos, are certainly not in the right frame of mind at the moment.
The fate of the teachers seems to be hanging in the balance. Each day, they watch helplessly as their land is being taken over by land speculators, otherwise known as omo onile. They lament that the land speculators have illegally repossessed several plots of land that they jointly bought in 2007.
The teachers told the reporter that when they bought the land in 2007, they were full of hope that they would one day be proud owners of their own homes and would have a roof over their heads after their retirement from active service. But today, that hope seems to have been shattered. They are now confused as to what to do to reclaim their lands.
The problem has worsened since the expanse of land located along Abata Road, in Gberigbe, Ikorodu, Lagos, became a subject of controversy between two families. The case is in court, even as some land speculators are also laying claim to the property.
Mr Musa Ajayi Odusanya, Evangelist Odusanya Adetayo Orelade and Mrs Folake Araba nee Odusanya spoke to the reporter on behalf of the Orelade family. They expressed worry that an issue that had already been determined in court was taking longer time than necessary to be resolved.
“The other family ignored court rulings on the matter, even after it was obvious to all parties involved in the disputed land that we have all the original documents relating to the land and that we are the rightful owner, We are disturbed and worried that after several attempts to call them to order by initiating stakeholders’ meeting involving the two families, the whole issue rages on.
“At the moment, the area set aside at Abata in Gberigbe town for health centre, police post, public primary school, market and motor garage area have been encroached upon by illegal buyers for building construction, but we are appealing to the state government, the police authority to look into the issue before it is too late,” Evangelist Orelade, who spoke on behalf of the family said:
He appealed to the other family to respect the court ruling, so that peace could reign in the area.
“We don’ t want to take the law into our own hands, and we are not interested in any crisis. But we will like the other family involved in the dispute to respect the court rulings over the lingering issue. This is our position on the whole matter.”
He appealed to teachers of Model College, Badore to be patient with the family, adding that the prolonged issue would be resolved in no distant time.
But the teachers insisted that they were becoming frustrated over the issue. They told the reporter that it was shocking and totally unbelievable that they would lose their land to the speculators, popularly called omo onile, regretting that the speculators have long taken over the disputed entire space.
Mr. Adetayo Adekinle, one of the teachers who spoke to the reporter on behalf of his colleagues said. “In 2007, we learnt that members of the Oresanya family were willing to sell their land in Gberigbe area of Ikorodu.Twenty five of us showed interest and we decided to meet the family to discuss the modalities for payment. In the end, we concluded that a plot of the land would go for N130, 000 and that payment should be made by installments for a period of one year. That was how the 25 of us paid by installments for one year. Some of us even bought two or three plots. By the time we were making those payments, they told us there was no problem on the land and nobody disturbed us. We paid for the land and for security, and we were given receipts.
“As teachers, what attracted us to the area was the report then that the Lagos State government was to construct the Fourth Mainland Bridge and we believed then that such a bridge would help us; we thought if we had our homes there, we would benefit from the state government’s mega city plans. Now, the dream of a Fourth Mainland Bridge is becoming a reality, as Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had started the initiative. But our hope to own a house in that area has remained a pipedream. That is why the governor needs to assist us to recover our land from those people.”
He said they later got to know that the land had become a disputed case and was in court, adding that some of the teachers even attended some of the court proceedings. But he said the teachers were all convinced that the Oresanya family that sold the land for them was not doing enough on the issue.
“They told us it was a family affair. But the other family has been selling those plots of land. In fact, some of us that commenced building on our plots of land were asked to discontinue work there. We are chased away by thugs who are always armed with dangerous objects.
“Governor Ambode should save us from those who have taken over our land, so that our hard earned money that we paid for the land would not go down the drain,” Adekinle stated.