10th December, 2010
The village of Wanihem in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State was thrownÂ into confusion Tuesday morning when the Catholic Church catechist in the area, Mr.Â Celestine Ugwebe, committed suicide by hanging himself.
The Catechist who was also a teacher in the local secondary school, WanihemÂ Secondary School, Ogor was said to have been disturbed over the N100,000 he wasÂ owing one of his friends, John.
A close friend of the catechist, Prince Dan Onah told P.M.NEWS that days â€œbefore theÂ man took his life, he called me to tell me that he was owing John N100,000 and thatÂ he was worried because he did not know what to do to pay the debt.
â€œI told him I was also owing people but then I still sleep well. I told him not toÂ worry too much and that God would help him repay the money.
The deceased, it was gathered, became hysterical when his creditor gave him up tillÂ Wednesday morning to pay up or face his wrath. â€œOn Tuesday morning at about 5 a.m.,Â he went to sweep the church for the morning prayers and then returned to the house.Â He asked his mother for the bucket used in fetching water from the well and hungÂ himself with the rope by the mango tree beside his house,â€ Onah disclosed.
He said it was the younger brother of the deceased who discovered the man danglingÂ from the tree and drew the attention of his father who was sweeping the compound toÂ the scene.
â€œHis father was busy sweeping and did not see his son dangling from the mango tree.Â It was his younger brother who on stepping out of his room saw a white sheet ofÂ paper on the ground close to the mango tree and when he looked closely, saw hisÂ brother dangling from the mango tree and called his fatherâ€™s attention,â€ he statedÂ further.
The suicide note, Prince Onah said confirmed that it was the debt that drove the manÂ to commit suicide.
When P.M.NEWS visited the house of the deceased, his distraught wife, Carol wasÂ weeping profusely and asking what she was going to do with the three kids leftÂ behind by the catechist.
Investigations revealed that a grave was dug at the foot of the mango tree and theÂ suicide rope was cut for the body to fall into it, â€œbecause it is a taboo forÂ indigenes of the place to touch the body of anyone who committed suicide after theÂ traditional rites involving the slaughtering of goats, dogs and chicken have beenÂ carried out to cleanse the land.â€
The police, our source said, were kept away, â€œas this is strictly traditional. ThereÂ is no need for the police in cases like this.â€
â€”Emmanuel Una/ Calabar