The Murder of Eunice Olawale
“Everybody is just saying it is well, nobody can understand how I feel. “She is innocent; she didn’t do anybody any harm. She uses just her megaphone and bible; just preaching. They just killed her like a chicken and left her there.”
These were the words of 15-year-old Jessica Olawale, daughter of the slain Kubwa preacher Eunice Olawale. The 42-year-old preacher who was hacked to death while she was preaching on a faithful Saturday morning in Kubwa, a famous satellite town which is home to many middle class families. As Eunice is laid to rest today, our leaders need to make sure we don’t have a similar situation in the future.
To think that a Nigerian citizen can be murdered in a barbaric manner in some parts of the nation is no longer as surprising as it used to be. This is because in less than two months, the fabrics that hold fast our nation Nigeria has experienced much threats and the current government is yet to make genuine political efforts to decisively nip them in the bud. We have seen religious intolerance played out in various shades.
On the 29th of May 2016, a 24-year-old young man Chimaije Emmanuel was killed in Pandogari in Niger state. Chimaije was alleged to have blasphemed on social media as a result; he was hunted down by a mob and killed.
Just within 4 days of the Pandogari incidence, a Septuagenarian woman Mrs. Bridget Agbaheme was mobbed to death in Kano. She was alleged to have blasphemed; an allegation that was rejected by the Kano state Governor. The mob who took part in the killings were said to have requested her remains in order to have her beheaded to satisfy their murderous souls.
Just about a week after the Kano saga, Francis Emmanuel Francis who is a carpenter was taking his lunch when he was approached by some youths who inquired why he was eating and not fasting as if to say it was a decree for Nigerians to fast. When he responded that he wasn’t fasting, they unleashed terror on him and in the present Nigeria, many will say he was lucky to survive. That is how intolerant the Nation has become.
Mrs Eunice’s murder calls for concern because she was murdered within the capital city; 30 – 45 minutes drive from the presidential villa. If there was any geographical enclave in any country where one will be safe to practice their religion, it should be in the nation’s capital. This is because it is the seat of power and as such, the basic right of religious freedom should be upheld. Even in most chaos ridden nations, there is a form of sanity in their capital cities as efforts are made to beef up security within these cities.
Like the peace icon Nelson Mandela said “to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others “.
As for Jessica Olawale, one can only ask that her maker bestows on her divine comfort. For some concerned citizens, the lessons are not farfetched and the need for Nigerians to abide peacefully cannot be overstated. But there is little ordinary Nigerians can do. We can only plead that we must all work hard to ensure that we do not lose faith. The larger responsibility is on those high up in our political and religious classes. They must learn from history.
Articles by authors are the opinions of the writers and not those of Eureka Magazine.