Buhari Mourns Gulak, Police Says Assassins Killed Him
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday condemned what he called “the heinous murder” of Adamawa State politician, Hon. Ahmed Gulak, in Owerri, Imo State capital, by yet-to-be identified gunmen yesterday.
He vowed that the federal government would spare no efforts in bringing the killers of Gulak, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, to justice.
Hours after the president announced the determination of his administration to fish out the killers, the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro, said a combined team of operatives of the command’s Tactical Units, Intelligence Response Team, and Police Mobile Force had killed the suspected killers of Gulak.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, to whom the deceased was a political adviser in his administration, and Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, expressed shock over the killing.
The Imo State Police Command has vowed to arrest the killers of Gulak.
Gulak, who was killed on his way to Sam Mbakwe International Airport to catch a flight to Abuja, was said to be a consultant to the Constitution Review Committee whose assignment to Owerri ended last Thursday after a two-day public hearing.
His remains, were, however, interred yesterday at the Gudu Cemetery, Abuja, in accordance with Islamic rites.
Gulak conducted the last gubernatorial primaries in Imo State where Senator Hope Uzodimma emerged as the candidate of the APC.
Uzodimma contested against Mr. Uche Nwosu, a son-in-law of his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha.
However, Gulak, who chaired the APC Governorship Primary Election Committee in Imo State, refused to sign an alleged forged primary election result, which declared Nwosu the winner of the APC governorship primary.
In the said result sheet, Uzodimma was said to have scored 9, 159 votes; while Nwosu got 455,655 votes.
Gulak had secretly returned to Abuja and alleged that he narrowly escaped being kidnapped in Imo State.
He told journalists that he and other committee members conducted a peaceful exercise, which produced Uzodimma as the party’s standard bearer for the 2019 governorship election for Imo State.
He said Uzodinma won after securing “423,895 votes to defeat eight other aspirants, including Governor Rochas Okorocha’s son in-law, Uche Nwosu.”
Gulak alleged that about nine out of the 12-member committee were “kidnapped,” by persons he described as “agents of the governor” who were led by a team of policemen to the hotel where the committee members were lodged.
He alleged that he sneaked out of Owerri “under the cover of darkness at about 4:00 a.m” to make his way to Abuja.
Confirming the murder of the APC chieftaincy, the police, in a statement, said: “On the 30/5/2021, at about 07:20hours, armed bandits intercepted and attacked a Toyota Camry cab carrying Ahmed Gulak and two others who were on their way to Sam Mbakwe Airport to catch a flight.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Bala Elkana, a Superintendent of Police, said in the statement that Gulak left his room at Protea Hotel without informing the police or sister agencies in view of the fragile security situation in the South-east and Imo State in particular.
“He left without any security escorts and while the cab driver took irregular route to the airport, six armed bandits who rode in a Toyota Sienna intercepted, identified and shot at Ahmed Gulak at around Umueze Obiangwu in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area close to the Airport.
“The Commissioner of Police Imo State, CP Abutu Yaro, has directed a discreet investigation into the matter as Tactical and Special Forces have been deployed to cordon the area and arrest perpetrators,” he added.
Reacting to the killing, the president, in a statement by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, said: “I’m repulsed by such premeditated and gruesome murder of Gulak by evil people who are determined to undermine the peace, unity and territorial integrity of our country.”
He, however, warned that nobody or group of people who engage in such despicable acts should expect to go free, adding that “we will deploy all resources at our disposal to ensure that such callous and criminal elements are brought to justice.”
Buhari expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased, the people and government of Adamawa State as well as his friends and associates all over the country.
On his part, Jonathan described Gulak’s death as a painful loss, noting that the deceased was a loyal public servant and dedicated patriot.
Fear as herdsmen flee South East, invade Benue communities
Fulani herdsmen hitherto grazing in the South Eastern part of Nigeria, have reportedly fled the zone and are now settling in some communities in Ogbadibo, Okpokwu, Ado and other Local Government Areas of Benue State.
The invasion may not be unconnected to the current unrest in the Southeast birthed by the activities of the Eastern Security Network, ESN which was established by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB to stop the activities of herdsmen in the region.
The recent resolve by the Southern Governors who banned open grazing in the region may have also triggered the sudden relocation to neighbouring communities.
DAILY POST reports that the communities in the aforementioned Local Government Areas are neighbouring villages to some parts of Enugu and Ebonyi States.
Ogbadibo and parts of Okpokwu are bordered by Udenu Local Government of Enugu State while parts of Ado, particularly the Agila community is bordered by Ebele village, Ngbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Our correspondent gathered that the herders are currently settling in some of the communities, triggering tension in the areas.
An opinion leader and head of a community in Owukpa in Ogbadibo, Chief Akogwu Agada told DAILY POST correspondent that some parts of the community have been occupied by the herdsmen.
“They are everywhere here in Owukpa but their major base is in Ankpa. They have clashed with our farmers several times due to the destruction of crops by their cattle.
“We will be glad if the government can come to our aid to chase them out of our land before they resort to attacking and killings us here”, Chief Akogwu noted.
A member of the recently disbanded vigilante group, Mr Apochi Adams who spoke with our correspondent from Ichama in Okpokwu Local Government, narrated a similar incident.
According to him, there is no part of the community that the herdsmen are not using for grazing.
“We have clashed with them several times trying to send them away from our land but they always resist”.
Similarly, A farmer, Mr James Adoga who spoke with our correspondent from Orokamu in Ogbadibo, lamented how his casava plantation was destroyed by the herders who grazed on his farm.
Adoga revealed that the herders stormed the community recently with their cattle, family and other property to settle in some of the villages.
“We are helpless in this place. Farming is the only business we use to survive and the Fulani men have come to destroy our only source of hope.
“When we see them on our land, and we complain, they threaten to kill us and due to news we have been getting from far places, we have no courage to confront them,” he stated.
DAILY POST reports that the development is coming despite the efforts of the state government to enforce the open grazing prohibition law across the 23 LGs of the state.
Recall that the state governor, Samuel Ortom in 2017 signed the Anti-Open Grazing bills into law as a measure to end the incessant crisis between farmers and herdsmen.
However, the herders who were angered by the law, have continued to unleash terror on residents of communities in relatively all parts of the state.
Recently, there was a surge in the deadly attacks as many residents have been butchered while over one million others were displaced across the three senatorial districts in the state.
DAILY POST recalls that armed men suspected to be Fulani militias, on Thursday night killed 36 residents of Shikaan Mbagena Kpav community in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of the state.
The armed men invaded the community and slaughtered scores at midnight when residents were fast asleep. 36 bodies were recovered while an unspecified number of persons sustained various degrees of injuries.
Recently, gunmen suspected to be herdsmen also attacked the Tse Amgbem community near Aondoana in Gwer West Local Government Area of the State, killing 11 persons as residents deserted the community and increased the number of Internally Displaced Persons camped across the state.
The Gwer West Local Government Chairman, Mrs Grace Igbabon who confirmed the incident to DAILY POST, lamented how his people were sacked from their ancestral homes by the militias.
Similarly, a few weeks ago, about seven persons were confirmed dead, with many others injured, after armed Fulani herdsmen attacked Abagena community housing Internally Displaced Persons camp in Makurdi Local government Area of the State.
Subsequently, the youths, who were angered by the killings, stormed the Makurdi-Lafia road with the lifeless bodies of the deceased to protest incessant attacks on their communities.
Reacting, the State Governor, Samuel Ortom in a statement, described the attack on the IDPs camp as inhuman, barbaric and unacceptable. The Governor called on President Muhammadu Buhari to live up to his responsibility of protecting lives of Nigerians.
Same week, more than 17 persons were confirmed dead while many others injured after militia herdsmen attacked Tse-Ayeli village, Tse-Gborigyo and Udam in Mbayer-Yandev in Guma Local Government Area of the State.
Recall that on March 20, 2021, the governor narrowly escaped death when militia herdsmen launched an attack on his convoy while returning from his farm at Tyo-mu along Makurdi – Gboko road.
Efforts by DAILY POST correspondent to speak with Terver Akase, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor on the recent influx of the Fulani herders in some parts of the state proved abortive as he was unable to take his calls and could not respond to text messages forwarded to him.
Similarly, when contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Catherine Anene Sewuese was unable to speak, but requested that a text message be sent to her. She did not, however, respond to the text message forwarded to her.
However, Ortom had a few days ago, told residents of the state to defend themselves with Dane guns and other weapons not prohibited by the law, when attacked by gunmen.
Ortom gave the directive at an inter-denominational church service held at the government house in Makurdi, Benue capital on Sunday, May 23.
“I will no longer announce the deaths of those killed by Fulani herdsmen, rise and defend yourselves with weapons not prohibited by law, bows and arrows, spears and knives.
“Get a licence for Dane guns from local government chairmen and use them to defend yourselves.
“God assured me some time back that as long as I lived within the circle of his presence, no weapon fashioned against me shall prosper,” he said.