- killers are cowards – Okorocha
As condemnations continue to trail the gruesome killing of one Madam Bridget Agbahiwe by suspected Islamic extremists in Kano State, husband of the slain woman, Pastor Mike Agbahiwe has debunked reports that his wife was beheaded by her assailants.
Pastor Agbahiwe, who hails from Orodo in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State, spoke yesterday when he came back and met with Governor Rochas Okorocha at the Government House, Owerri.
The bereaved cleric, who was accompanied by his relations, explained that the widely read report on the media that his wife was beheaded was untrue.
Narrating details of the incident to the governor, he recalled how his wife was heartlessly and gruesomely murdered in his presence by the Muslim fanatics, saying he survived being killed by the grace of God.
Agbahiwe, who said that he would have also been killed because the aim of their attackers was to kill him and the wife, noted that the intervention of the police eventually dispersed the mob before they could touch him.
“One Muslim man called Dauda came to my wife’s shop and was washing his leg in front of the shop. My wife told the man to move up a little so that she could arrange her goods, but the man refused; instead, the man started to molest her and gripped her neck. In trying to free herself from the grip, Dauda started shouting Alahu akubar, and angry mob quickly gathered.
“When we saw that danger was about to occur, we ran and took refuge in the house of a prominent Alhaji who is a leader in the area. The Alhaji did all he could to calm the mob down; they refused and called him an infidel and broke into his house and killed my wife in front of me. And if not the quick intervention of the police who immediately used teargas to disperse them, they would have also killed me. But they destroyed everything I had, both the shop, the car and so on.
“The head of my wife was never beheaded; but the hitting was on her head and with hard objects. The body of my wife is in the mortuary with the head. She was not beheaded as it was widely reported.”
Responding to the pathetic story, Governor Okorocha described late Mrs. Agbahiwe as a heroine because it took more than one hundred men and women to bring her down, describing the gruesome murder of the woman as highly provocative, barbaric and the highest act of wickedness of mankind.
He told Pastor Agbahiwe that the Imo State government would share with him and the family in his moment of grief and pains.
Okorocha said, “The problem is not the death of Mrs. Agbahiwe but the manner in which she was killed. In this country, we must learn to live peacefully. No religion supports killing. Anyone who kills in the name of religion is an evil worshipper and should never mention the name of God. The cold blooded murder of Mrs. Agbahiwe should be seen as a sacrifice for the unity of the country.”
The governor further stressed that “she died as a martyr. Imo State government will be with the family in this period of grief, and we shall set up a committee to assist in making sure that she is given a befitting burial. She died a heroine as far as we are concerned, as it took more than one hundred attackers to kill her. Those who killed the woman are cowards.
“The chairman of the traditional rulers council in the state will lead a delegation to the Emir of Kano to make sure that such ugly incident will never reoccur anywhere in the country.
“We are monitoring the situation and the report reaching me is that five people have been arrested and taken to court and finally remanded in custody in connection with the murder of Mrs. Bridget Agbahiwe. This is good enough; it means the Kano State government and the police command in Kano are working to live up to their assurances to me that they would fish out the killers and make them face the full wrath of the law.”
The governor urged Pastor Agbahiwe not to question God over the killing of the wife, but to bear the whole incident with fortitude.