Catechist Commits Suicide

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The village of Wanihem in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State was thrown  into confusion Tuesday morning when the Catholic Church catechist in the area, Mr.  Celestine Ugwebe, committed suicide by hanging himself.

The Catechist who was also a teacher in the local secondary school, Wanihem  Secondary School, Ogor was said to have been disturbed over the N100,000 he was  owing one of his friends, John.

A close friend of the catechist, Prince Dan Onah told P.M.NEWS that days “before the  man took his life, he called me to tell me that he was owing John N100,000 and that  he was worried because he did not know what to do to pay the debt.

“I told him I was also owing people but then I still sleep well. I told him not to  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 till  Wednesday morning to pay up or face his wrath. “On Tuesday morning at about 5 a.m.,  he went to sweep the church for the morning prayers and then returned to the house.  He asked his mother for the bucket used in fetching water from the well and hung  himself with the rope by the mango tree beside his house,” Onah disclosed.

He said it was the younger brother of the deceased who discovered the man dangling  from the tree and drew the attention of his father who was sweeping the compound to  the scene.

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“His father was busy sweeping and did not see his son dangling from the mango tree.  It was his younger brother who on stepping out of his room saw a white sheet of  paper on the ground close to the mango tree and when he looked closely, saw his  brother dangling from the mango tree and called his father’s attention,” he stated  further.

The suicide note, Prince Onah said confirmed that it was the debt that drove the man  to commit suicide.

When P.M.NEWS visited the house of the deceased, his distraught wife, Carol was  weeping profusely and asking what she was going to do with the three kids left  behind by the catechist.

Investigations revealed that a grave was dug at the foot of the mango tree and the  suicide rope was cut for the body to fall into it, “because it is a taboo for  indigenes of the place to touch the body of anyone who committed suicide after the  traditional rites involving the slaughtering of goats, dogs and chicken have been  carried out to cleanse the land.”

The police, our source said, were kept away, “as this is strictly traditional. There  is no need for the police in cases like this.”

—Emmanuel Una/ Calabar