The All Progressives Congress (APC), governors of the 19 northern states and some other Nigerians have asked security forces to spare no efforts in arresting and bringing the killers of former presidential aide, Ahmed Gulak, to justice.
Gulak, an APC chieftain and former political adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, was in the early hours of Sunday shot and killed by unknown gunmen in Owerri, Imo State.
In a statement by national secretary of its Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator Akpanudoedehe, the APC expressed shock over the gruesome murder of Gulak, saying the security agencies must leave no stone unturned in tracking down the Adamawa State-born politician.
Describing the late Gulak as a shining political leader and patriot, the party said, “The party joins Nigerians to mourn his death and condemn his murderers in the strongest possible terms. We commiserate with his immediate family and the government and people of Adamawa State.
“The APC, as all well-meaning Nigerians, is calling for national unity to fight crimes in the country. We urge relevant security agencies to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to track down and swiftly bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice”.
The party reiterated the need for Nigerians to continuously support and cooperate with the security agencies who put their lives on the line to protect lives and property.
Similarly, the Northern Governors Forum described the assassination of the former special adviser on Political Matters in Owerri as most unfortunate, totally condemnable and unacceptable.
Chairman of the forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, in a statement issued in Jos by his director of press and public affairs, Simon Makut Macham, said the sad event is a criminal act that must be condemned in totality.
The governors said the killing of Gulak must be seen as a criminal act and treated as such, warning against insinuations and politicization that could lead to further violence.
He said the report by the police that it has identified and engaged the suspected killers of the late politician should further be consolidated to enable security agencies to forestall future occurrence.
The governors also expressed disgust over the abduction of innocent citizens across three local government areas of Niger State, including students and teachers of an Islamiya school.
Governor Lalong said the horrible situation needs to be brought to an end in order to give respite for the people to engage in their legitimate activities without molestation.
He reiterated the commitment of the forum to work with the security agencies and the federal government in tackling the ugly level of insecurity in the region and the nation at large.
Also reacting to the development, Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma, described the death of the late Ahmed Gulak as a personal loss to him.
Noting that Gulak’s murder was political assassination, the governor denied any form of attack on his convoy.
Speaking at a press conference at Government House, Owerri, yesterday, Uzodimma said the assurance by President Muhammadu Buhari to the nation that the perpetrators of the heinous crime would be apprehended and punished was assuring.
On the supposed attack on his convoy trending on social media, the governor said, “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”.
He said the late Gulak was a humble man even as maintained that it was a clear case of assassination adding that the state government is committed to finding and punishing the killers and
“Alhaji Ahmed Gulak was in Imo State for a national assignment. He came to Owerri with the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendment. Being a humble man, he chose to travel incognito according to his friend who was with him. Someone must have trailed him from the hotel to the airport. That is exactly why his gruesome murder appears to be a clear case of political assassination. It was simply one of the most devastating news I have had in my life and I am yet to recover from the shock. It remains a puzzle to me why anyone would want to murder him in this gruesome and vicious manner”.
“According to reports by the police, he was shot in cold blood and the assailants did not remove a pin from him. It is most benumbing that people chose to waste such an innocent blood in such a dastardly and cowardly manner,” he stated.
The governor vowed that no stone will be left unturned to unravel the killers and their sponsors saying they will not escape punishment.
On his part, the governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, described as shocking the gruesome murder of Gulak.
Governor Fintiri said the death of Ahmed Gulak was painful and a reflection of the wickedness of the wicked.
He consoled the nation, the APC and immediate family of the deceased, saying the late Gulak was a witty, determined and practical politician whose rise in life was as a result of sheer hard work.
In a statement issued yesterday in Yola by his chief press secretary, Hunwashi Wanisoukou, the governor said, “It is unfortunate that death has taken from us The Rt. Hon Ahmed Gulak in such a gruesome manner. He was a lively Politician who loved and worked with everyone, and always held the interests of the Country at heart.
“He was a brother and a mentor, and a fighter for human rights as a lawyer. Madagali community has lost a true son.
“Our Country has lost an astute fighter for human rights. We all remember how passionate he fought for the plight of those displaced by insurgency and the downtrodden”.
Fintiri described the late Ahmed Gulak as a “Towering symbol of family values and the unity of the Marghi People as well as the entire State”.
Also, the minority caucus in the House of Representatives said it was alarmed by the gruesome killing of the former political adviser Jonathan.
The caucus in a statement described the assassination of Gulak as wicked and barbaric, urging the police and other security agencies to fish out the assailants.
The caucus expressed worry about the worsening insecurity, violence and killings in Imo, “particularly since the APC administration took over the state.”
The caucus urged urgent security and constitutional steps to check rising violent activities, restore law and order and bring the tense situation in the state under control.
“As representatives of the people, our caucus believes that the situation has gone beyond the capacity of the government of Imo state, especially given its failure to gain control since inception.
“Our caucus condoles with the Gulak family over the sad incident and further urges Nigerians to remain at alert and continue to pray for God’s divine intervention for our nation at this trying time,” the statement signed by the minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, noted.
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Also, minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, condemned the gruesome murder of the late APC chieftain, saying it is wicked, unwarranted and unnecessary.
“It is not in our character as Ndigbo to shed blood for any reason and for any cause. Peace, consultation and accommodation are integral to our republicanism as a race. Ndigbo cannot afford to be linked to a senseless murder or any other action that can bitterly sour our relationship with our brothers from other parts of Nigeria,” Ngige stated in a statement issued by his media office in Abuja yesterday.
The minister appealed to all political actors and aggrieved youths in Imo State and every state in the South East to immediately halt the escalating violence and embrace dialogue.
“I wish to appeal to all political actors and youths in Imo State, indeed all states in the South East, to reject violence as a means to address the challenges we face as Ndigbo in Nigeria.
“I further advise all aggrieved persons whether they are politicians or youths to eschew violence as there is nothing that cannot be resolved through dialogue,” he stated.