Eunice Elisha and the Banality of Religion in Nigeria


I’m trying not to think/talk/write about it, but, it isn’t going away.

Eunice. Eunice Elisha.

Her death and its circumstances really hurt me. I actually can’t describe the pain felt seeing pictures of her mauled body, her 7 children, and the tears that don her widower’s cheeks like a very damaging wardrobe malfunction.

Eunice Elisha was courageous, and her death in the line of what she took as duty is really really saddening.

Somehow though, something else pains me more, and that is my informed guess that Eunice is an offspring of an orgy. An orgy, illicit sex between:

  • ignorant Sacerdotalism
  • dogmatism
  • conformism, and
  • emotional blackmail.

I think Eunice came out as a product when these four things mated without introducing a thin sheath of discretion. That before Eunice became a victim of bestial humans that fateful Saturday morning, she had been a victim of a baneful religion and a prisoner of a clerically cosmetic conscience.

Yes, it sounds somehow, but I’ve been there. That is why it pains me more.

My Experience With Religion

See, I grew up in an essentially pedantic religious setting. A church where there were a lot of Jehovah moles and messiah mannequins. People who, with every gaze and word, hassled you into a pursuit of self-righteousness in order to be “pleasing in His sight”. Except, of course, it was actually to be pleasing in “THEIR OWN sight”.

I know how caustic this can be on the human conscience, this make-up wore everyday even when one feels worn. The requirement to just swallow the idea of God as dogma. The penchant to conform to doctrinal tenets as wired by men (all the “My pastor said” people) and not as spoken to you by your soul.

The “do-this-to-get-that” idea to get things from God, that is used to blackmail the human emotion into commitment. The sacerdotal ignorance that constantly paints God as a Deity, a Judge, and not a Father. Our God – this grim Judge who will leave you exposed to the Devil when you sin, when you don’t read your bible in the morning for example, or when you can’t fluently recite the memory verse during Sunday service.

Is this who our God really is?

While reading through a comment made by one of Eunice’s children during police interrogation in search of possible suspects, I had an idea into what goes on in Eunice’s mind. It was said that Eunice was sick almost to a point of death recently, and that she told her family that she believed her sickness was inflicted on her as a vindictive measure by one Mallam she had refused to give food on two occasions.

I thought: how can this be of a truly redeemed mind? How can one think she was susceptible to a man’s jinn, when at the same time believed she served a God who was a “Baba bulldozer”?

But as I said, I have seen it. I grew up in the midst of this kind of banal mentality as touching religion. A situation where you are made to see that everything is warfare. That there are some enemies that you must extinguish sharp-sharp before they kill you. The list of banal and pathetically fiddling eccentrics is just easily extendable.

And yes, that’s orgy,  this constant inadequacy. Not truly godly, and yet, this is the story of many Christians in Nigeria.

Those four things I stated above form two-third of what we call religion in this part of the world, and it’s like self-inflicted slavery, definitely not representative of a God idea.

The God Concept – unconditional fatherhood

This idea called God, if honestly taken in by inspiration, plus how it is stated in the holy books, is an idea of unconditional fatherhood. No more, no less. If only 95% of Nigerian Christians acknowledge that there is a forensic thin line between seeing God as a Deity and as a Father!

That God does not do trade by barter, that God’s love also loves your ability to think freely and use discretion. That God does not want any belaboured sacrifice to validate you or your emotions. That God does not need you to engage in any fight, talk more fight for him! That God does not adjudicate over human shenanigans of appearance or ‘dis-appearance’ in any case. That God does not feel better based on your hours of commitment to a religious tenet. If only we knew this thin line, we’d definitely be better as individuals who won’t misconstrue essence for eccentrics.

I can say that I’ve been stuck on worship for about 2 years now. Not because it’s been challenge-free all the way, but because I’ve learnt and found peace in the idea of faultless fatherhood. I’ve learnt that this idea of fatherhood doesn’t entrench tenets and make you feel you’ve got monopoly over a form of celestial knowledge or a grasp around a form of righteousness. Rather, it makes you wake every blessed day as “Jon Snow”, knowing nothing, but getting very open to learn anew, always. Learning with a form of peace beyond understanding.

This story is not just about Eunice Elisha

I salute Eunice’s courage once again. This post isn’t out to paint fault lines about her life at all. The manner and circumstances in which she was murdered, again underlies Nnamdi Kanu’s hypothesis, that we are in a zoo with untamed beasts.

This post isn’t about Eunice, rather, it’s about that thing that victimises the mind of the Nigerian man before the zoological tendencies catch up with it – Religion!

The tears on Eunice’s husband face are actually gut-wrenching, and they make me reflect on this banality we call religion. Eunice did not die in peace, that is fact.

My guess is that she was a victim of baneful religion too. My guess is that just like many other typical indoctrinated devout, maybe she had suppressed the flow of discretion to long for more ointment from dogma. My guess is that like many other indoctrinated devout, she went out every morning to preach that gospel, partly because her emotions or conscience won’t let her be if she did not go, as it won’t be pleasing in “His sight”, and in effect, affect her reward from God.

Pastor Adeboye visits the home of late Eunice Elisha Olawale and prays with her husband and seven children.

Eunice was murdered, but in the name of this “Orgy of Four” stated above, it has been rechristened as martyrdom.

Hmmn, You see?

Well, if my guess remains that Eunice was murdered and not martyred, is my guess as good as yours?

Oga Olawale and the dear seven children, may you find fortitude to bear this maternal loss.

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  1. RIP The God we serve neither sleeps nor slumber HE is never too late nor too early. A day is like a thousand years unto Him and a thousand years is like a day unto Him He is the almighty God and nobody can fight for Him.She died as a soldier in the Lords army.My consolation is that she is resting in the bossom of Jesus

  • My prayer is dat dos dat did dis wud nt suffer it alone,,dia children ,n d ones yet unborn wud suffer it most,,,bitterness in d mrnin,,afternoon,sorrow in d nite shall be dia portion…everytin GOD created wud work against dem…

    Soon the body of this woman murdered while doing “morning cry” in kubwa area of Abuja Nigeria would be buried. However, the Body to which she belonged and labour to draw people into, the Body of Christ cannot and can never be buried in Nigeria. The goal of the killers of this woman is to prevent the people from preaching Christ so the Body of Christ i.e. The church of God can go into extinction. They need to be reminded that attempts by forces in the past to exterminate the people of God has always failed. Pharaoh try it and failed, Haman tried it and failed, Herod, Nero and Caesar tried it and failed. This present onslaught of the children of the wicked one to silence the church in Nigeria will surely fail. The persecution of the church has always propelled the church to growth (Acts 11:19, 21). Let us keep the flag of evangelism flying to ensure that she did not die in vain.

  • Those women who are protesting in Lagos cos Dino returned the insults on him from another woman should see better reasons to protest. Protest for Eunice Elisha. Protest for religious freedom in Nigeria. Protest the brutal killing of Christian women in Kano and Kubwa in Abuja.

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