The husband to the late Bridget Agbahiwe, who was killed in Kano by suspected Musloim fanatics for alleged blasphemy, Pastor Mike Agbahiwe, yesterday relived how his wife was beaten to death in his presence.
Agbahiwe, an indigene of Orodo in Mbaitoli Local Government of Imo State, visited Governor Rochas Okorocha at the Government House in Owerri, the state capital, in company of his relatives.
The distraught husband said his wife was not beheaded, as widely reported in the media.
He said the late Bridget was killed in his presence, while he escaped death by the whiskers.
Agbahiwe said the attackers were out to kill him and his wife.
He said: “One Muslim, identified simply as 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. He gripped her in the neck.
As she tried to free herself from the grip, Dauda started shouting Allahu Akba! A mob quickly gathered.
“When we saw that danger was about to occur, we ran and took refuge in the home 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. The mob broke into his house and killed my wife in front of me. If not for 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: the shop, the car and so on.
“My wife was never beheaded. But the hitting was on her head and it was with hard objects. The body of my wife is in the mortuary with the head. She was not beheaded as it was widely reported.”
Okorocha described Bridget’s killing as “highly provocative, barbaric and the highest wickedness of mankind”.
The governor said the state government shared with the Agbahiwe family its moment of grief.
He 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 a religion is an evil worshipper and should never mention the name of God. The cold-blooded killing of Mrs. Agbahiwe should be seen as a sacrifice for the unity of the country.
She died as a martyr.
“The Imo State Government will be with the family in this period of grief. 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 100 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 never reoccurs anywhere in the country.”
He added: “We are monitoring the situation. The report reaching me is that five people have been arrested and charged to court. They have reportedly been remanded in custody in connection with the killing of Mrs. 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.”