The brutal murder of Ahmed Gulak, a former political adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan in Owerri, about two weeks ago jolted not a few Nigerians. The incident sent shock waves across the nation.
Gulak was in Owerri, Imo State, as consultant to the Senate Committee on Constitutional Review, which had an exercise in the state. News reports indicate that he was trailed on his way to the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, to catch a flight back to Abuja, upon conclusion of his assignment. It was gathered that the car conveying him was stopped at a roadblock mounted by gunmen.
As reported, the manner in which the gunmen singled him out despite being in casual outfit and with his facemask on and proceeded to kill him without taking anything and leaving the driver of the car, indicated clearly that Gulak was targeted to be killed.
The police later said while on trail of the suspected killers of Gulak, that there was an exchange of gun fire and the suspects were killed. While Nigerians were grappling with the news, there was report of the killing of a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Christopher Dega. The retired police officer, who was a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Security to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, was killed in Jos, Plateau State. He had earlier served as Commissioner of Police in Borno and Edo states. The Plateau State Police Command, in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Mr Gabriel Ogaba, said Dega was shot dead by three yet to be identified gunmen in an isolated restaurant at Bukuru, Jos.
He added that investigation has so far revealed that he was trailed and shot. That brought to two the number of persons killed in similar manner in less than 72 hours.
We mourn the deaths of these two men, who served the country in different capacities and condole with their families. We also condemn in very strong terms their killing and call for a thorough investigation into them.
Their deaths, especially that of Ahmed Gulak, rehashes ugly memories of high profile killings in the past like those of Marshal Harry, Aminosoari Dikibo, Funso Williams and former Attorney-General of the Federation Bola Ige. All these persons were killed under mysterious circumstances which to this day have not been unravelled. In his public address, Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma, indicated that the murder had political undertones and as the chief security officer of the state his words must be taken seriously.
That is why we call on the authorities to ensure a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to the killings. Security operatives need to find out if these two men were victims of the general insecurity situation across the country or if their deaths were targeted or politically motivated. This is very necessary as the trend portends danger, especially as we approach the 2023 general elections.
The country is already on the precipice due to the insecurity bedevilling it. We have insurgency, banditry, armed robbery and abductions we cannot add assassination/politically motivated killings to the list.
If it is discovered that the deceased were targeted and killed, then the perpetrators and their sponsors must be fished out and dealt with to deter others who may be considering same. As we approach the general elections, there must be no room for people to hide under the insecurity situation to take out perceived opponents.
The investigation should not spare anyone involved, no matter how highly placed, and its findings should not be swept under the carpet as with the others. In fact, it should be made public.
Furthermore, this is a desperate call to security operatives and the federal government to end insecurity across the country. Killings under whatever guise must stop. Every citizen deserves protection whether highly placed or not. If we did not have all these insecurity issues, the perpetrators may not have been bold enough to carry out the attacks just as it would have been a lot easier to isolate and treat the killing of Gulak and Dega.