Since the alleged recent decapitation in Kano of a woman over her decision not to allow an Hausa man perform ablution in front of her shop, as well as the stabbing of another man whose infraction in the eyes of his traducers, was that he dared to eat publicly while the Islamic fasting was ongoing, the grisly murder of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) woman evangelist last week is yet establishing a profile. And a scary one at that.
The traffic on Facebook was the first to be apprised with this horrendous murder. An apparently zealous woman of the RCCG sect of Nigerian Christian Pentecostals, had, in obedience to the injunction which is said to be the decree in RCCG today called ‘doubling’ (which in marketing is called one for two, i.e. one markets two, all translating, for Redeemed, enhanced evangelism with the aim that the population of the RCCG quadruples if possible) made it a point of duty to evangelize the people of Kubwa in Abuja. So early in the morning, the woman, with a megaphone, went out to tell the residents that they were treading the path of ruination unless they repented. So this early morning, her assailants waylaid her in same Kubwa and apparently shrouded by dark, matchetted her to death so callously.
The world, nay Nigerians, have not stopped mourning her death since that fateful morning. Trust Nigerians, perhaps due to the uncertainty of the day of their own deaths too or the uncertainty of its cause and nature, they elected – as they have always done in matters pertaining to the departure of anyone from this earth – to be chief mourners of Mrs Eunice Olawale’s death.
In the absence of police autopsy and investigation reports of the cause and motive of the murder of the evangelist, it would be safe to conclude that her assailants were uncomfortable with either or both the fact of her evangelism or the searing cudgel of her preaching. If it is established that she had been earlier threatened before the murder, this will even substantiate this conclusion.
The RCCG, through its leader and General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, did extremely well by not exploiting the religious division in Nigeria to the advantage of the church. The deceased’s husband, true to the perspective of religionists in the southern part of Nigeria, also helped rein in the prospective retaliation that could have come from the corpus of Christian worshippers in Nigeria. He had said that his family was not interested in either revenge or the arrest of the murderers of the woman. Pastor Adeboye even went a notch further by saying that the church was not interested in justice but the repentance and conversion of the alleged murderers. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), however, elected to tow the activist line: every Christian must be prepared to defend themselves in the face of this alleged rampaging zealotry and intolerance of the other faith(s) in Nigeria.
The apparent course that runs through many of the comments on the murder of the RCCG woman is that she must have been taken out by those whose religion or faith was contra to hers. Which, to my mind, may be completely off tangent. For all you care, it could jolly well be an intolerant irredentist who could not put up with the nuisance of the preacher’s megaphone. I will explain presently.
We all have to be careful. Nuisances of different kinds are rarely noted, talk more of being given credence of existence, by Nigerians. Nigerians stomp on the rights of the other person to enjoy quiet living, with abandon. Churches and mosques are serially guilty of this. In the name of religion, many people daily suffer in quiet due to the disturbance and selfishness of religionists in Nigeria. On a daily basis, the muezzin wakes quietly sleeping Nigerians up through his unconscionable megaphone. It was worse during the period of Muslim fasting when Nigerians were daily bayoneted by pestles of shouts calling faithful to prayers. Woe betide you if you live in an environment where churches (especially Pentecostal churches) are sited. You would earlier on have quietly endured the suffering of the vigil where the congregants choose to put a megaphone outside in the dead of the night to disorganise a wide network of the neighbourhood, for a programme that is strictly private.
So the blame is on both sides – Christians and Muslims. This is why the new Lagos State and Kaduna laws against this practice should be applauded.
Having said all this, the murderers of the RCCG woman should be made to rot in the hell of law by the Nigerian justice system. All attempts must be made to apprehend them and not allow their irredentism to fester. Nothing can justify the killing of another man, no matter the level of such person’s irritancy, or else, we would not be better than animals.
This is why I agree more with the CAN than Pastor Adeboye on the recompense for this horrendous act. First, every Nigerian should be vigilant because many of the people with whom we inhabit the same human space are a little higher than our ape ancestors and our assumptions over the years that we are all humans are palpably wrong. Second, the Nigerian law enforcement agencies should not listen to Pastor Adeboye’s comment that the woman’s assailant(s’) conversion to Christianity is more desirable than their apprehension by the law. In any case, the arrest of the perpetrators should not be subject to debate. It is the state that has been offended by the taking of an innocent life and as such, it is in the interest of the state that the offenders be brought to book.