Politicians, elites grapple with possible return of political assassinations in Nigeria

 The death of Ahmed Gulak in the hands of unknown gunmen in Owerri, the Imo State capital is causing panic among the political elites on the possible return of the ‘political assassination’ era.

The assassination of Mr. Gulak, a close ally of Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, is causing de ja vu of the days of the Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration where political assassination was rampant.

Names like Bola Ige, Harry Mashal, Funsho Williams, Ogbonnayaa Uche were some of the people killed across the country, even though some of the deaths are unresolved, their deaths were believed to be politically motivated.

Initial reports by news media suggested a possible link to the Eastern Security Network, but Governor Hope Uzodinma later said it was possibly a political assassination.

“….his gruesome murder appears to be a clear case of political assassination.”

Gov Uzodinma added, “let me also clarify the story trending on the social media platforms, that my convoy was attacked, my convoy was never attacked. That is the wish of those who murdered Gulak.”

Also, IPOB had denied killing Mr. Gulak. The group, while distancing itself from Gulak’s death, stressed that assassinations of politicians were not part of its agenda, accusing politicians of knowing something about Mr. Gulak’s death.

According to Uzodinma, Gulak, an ex-Adviser to former President, Goodluck Jonathan, was in the state as a consultant to Senate special committee on constitutional amendment.

Gulak’s linked to Imo State politics…

Aside from his last assignment in the state, Mr Gulak was instrumental in Gov Uzodinma getting the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket against Henry Nwosu, the son-in-law of Sen Rochas Okorocha.

Gulak, who was the chairman of the APC committee for the primary between Uzodinma, Nwosu, and others claimed that he and his committee members were kidnapped by Sen Okorocha.

According to him, Sen Okorocha offered his committee $2million to declare Mr. Nwosu the candidate of the APC.

Politicians jittery

The House of Representatives special constitution review committee was scheduled to hold 2-days open hearing in Owerri, however, the lawmakers on Monday announced the indefinite suspension of the event.

While the committee did not mention the reason behind the decision, an insider confirmed to DAILY POST that it was because of the assassination of Gulak.

“We cannot mention it in the public, but the killing of Ahmed Gulak was a deal-breaker for the members of the committee. For now, Imo (state) is a no go area,” the source said.

Also, the Arewa Conservative Forum (ACF) on Monday, issued a travel advisory to northerners against travelling to the southeast. However, the main concern appears to be coming from politicians.

The death of Mr Gulak is generating reactions on social media. Some have accused a top government official after a video surfaced online, showing Mr. Gulak accusing him of corruption and hypocrisy.

Most of those who commented on Gulak’s death implied a possible link to political motivation.

But the police had claimed earlier that Gulak was killed by IPOB’s ESN, displaying bodies of those killed in connection to the murder. Some arrests were equally made.

The Imo State Command in a statement by its spokesman, Bala Elkana stated that the dead assailants were later identified as members of the IPOB/ESN. The police said, ‘the assailants were identified as members of the proscribed IPOB and ESN. The driver who drove late Ahmed Gulak and a co- victim who survived have all identified the dead body of the IPOB/ESN members as their attackers and also identified the three vehicles recovered as those used by the attackers.”

Nigerians are, however, waiting for the outcome of the police investigation to determine the actual killer of Mr Gulak as they believe the initial statement from the force was done in a rush.

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