WHILE millions of Nigerians and others around the world gathered at places of worship on December 31, 2016 for what has come to be popularly known as crossover night, and shouting Happy New year! as the hands of clock ticked to 12 midnight, signalling the dawn of another year, the family of Samson David had only one prayer in mind – that the woman of the house, Mrs Gloria Samson, who had disappeared would eventually reunite with her husband and two kids alive.
Mrs Samson, according to reports, had left her home in Makurdi, Benue State, on 28 December, 2016 around 9 p.m leaving behind her two children both five years of age. Gloria was said to have delivered a set of triplets about five years ago, but one of them died leaving the two surviving children.
This ugly development is coming barely two months after another Benue man attempted suicide over the crash of the scene.
As she took her leave, she bided her children bye and apologised for any wrongdoing she might have committed against them and pleaded for forgiveness.
The same message of forgiveness was reportedly sent through the children to her husband, a printer, who was still at work at that time, around Barracks Road, Makurdi,.
Few hours after she left her home without returning, her son, Wisdom, called his father using his mother’s phone and informed him that his mother had left home for hours and was yet to return. Samson assured his kids not to worry and that he was on his way home. To further keep their mind at rest he assured them further that he was sure that by the time he returned.
Unfortunately this was not to be as Gloria, the 34-year-old mother of two was nowhere to be found after several hours of search for her whereabouts. She had reportedly left home wearing a flip-flop and without her phone.
“Tracing her became difficult and I had to return home around 11 p.m of that fateful day. The only thing I could do was to call my younger brother and brother in-law informing them of the sudden disappearance of my wife,” Gloria’s husband Samson told Sunday Tribune.
As hours rolled into a full day, Samson walked to a nearby police station, B Division and lodged a complaint of the sudden disappearance of his wife.
“From there, I was asked to make a statement and drop my phone number, but alas, I did not hear from them again,” Samson added with a feeling of frustration.
Unknown to Samson his wife had walked down to River Benue and drowned herself while the body was discovered by police on 2 January, 2017. Unfortunately for Samson he was not aware of this development until Tuesday, 17 January, 2017 when a woman picked the information through a policewoman, her neighbour, who informed her that a female body was recovered from River Benue about two weeks earlier and that the body had been deposited at the morgue of Federal Medical Center, Makurdi.
‘As soon as the woman came to my house that Tuesday morning and informed me of the police finding, I became perplexed and hurriedly went to toilet before we departed to ‘A Division’ at Wadata Area, where the picture of the drowned woman whom I later identified as my wife was given to me,” Samson said with a sad tone, adding “In fact, I did not know what became of me; I just began to shiver.”
There were diverse reasons adduced to the tragedy. There were allegations that the woman decided to commit suicide due to the crash of the popular Mavrodi Mundial Money box (MMM) having invested a N.4million loan she procured from various places in town into the Ponzi scheme.
Some of those who spoke to Sunday Tribune under condition of anonymity said that the woman was a very lively person until early December 2016, when news of the crash in MMM went viral.
One of her friends at Wadata market who deals in foodstuffs and simply identified herself as Madam Kate told Sunday Tribune that, “this woman came to my stall early December, she was so moody, unlike her usual way of life. I asked what the problem was, and she told me that she had run into deep problem. She added that she collected a sum of money and put it into ‘that business that brings in quick money’ but learnt that the thing had collapsed.
“She even threatened to run away, but I encouraged her to pray as God would intervene and she left. I did not hear from her until last Tuesday when the news came that she drowned in River Benue and her body was recovered here around Wadata.”
It was the same story at her home in Vandeikiya Street, Makurdi. Those who spoke to Sunday Tribune said that the once jovial Gloria suddenly became depressed, until news started filtering in that she had invested money she took from a finance institution and put it into MMM.
A neighbour who pleaded anonymity and corroborated this said that some staff of the local bank where she obtained the loan but were oblivious of her death traced her to her residence. The purpose of the visit was to notify her that she had defaulted in her loan payment, only to be informed that the same person they came looking for had passed on.
“As a neighbour, two days after the discovery of the body, some people who claimed that she took loan from them and expected her to pay back on a monthly basis but did not see her traced her to this place and were asking of her from some of us outside. It was when we told them that the person they were looking for had died and immediately they disappeared,” the respondent said.
Speaking to Sunday Tribune, the widower, Mr Samson David said that there was a clue that his wife got involved in MMM. He admitted that his wife who was a petty trader collected loans from four places, but did not plough it into her trading.
“My wife was into petty trading, and she had been collecting this soft loans to boost her business. Anytime she collected, she paid back and in most cases I was her guarantor.
“You know women at times keep secrets. Towards November and December, 2016, I discovered she took a loan from four places – over N400,000 – but I don’t know what she actually did with the money because this time there was nothing in the shop to suggest that she invested the money into her business and truly she took loans,” Samson said.
The widower explained further that he discovered that his wife became depressed around early December when the news of the crash in MMM filtered into town. “I asked her what the problem was, but she only told me that she was sick and we went to hospital where she was diagnosed with typhoid and malaria. She was placed on drugs and this was the situation till Christmas Day.
While eulogising his wife, Samson described her as a caring and loving wife and mother. He expressed concern about the circumstances surrounding the death of his wife saying: “this is someone who could not hurt herself. In fact, she would not want razor moved near her body”, while concluding that though the cause of death tilted towards MMM, he saw the tragedy as a spiritual attack.
“In fact, she could not go to church on Christmas Day, but I took my children and we went to church. The following day she also complained of pile and I decided to get her traditional medicine which she declined, saying until after she completed her drug.
“This was the situation until that day when my son, Wisdom, called me that his mother had left home for long and had not returned.”
The remains of Gloria were penultimate Friday buried at Ankpa ward public cemetery, in Makurdi.
When contacted, the state police spokesman, ASP Moses Yamu, confirmed that the police recovered the body of a woman in River Benue and the corpse had been released to her husband.
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