The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Sunday said his regime would ensure that those who killed a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Ahmed Gulak, were brought to justice.
Buhari spoke in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, titled, ‘President Buhari expresses outrage, sadness over Gulak’s murder.’
Gulak, a former Special Adviser on Political Matters to former President Goodluck Jonathan, was killed in Owerri, Imo State, on Sunday.
Sources said he was ambushed while on his away to the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo airport.
His motorcade was reportedly attacked at a place called Obiagwa, close to the airport.
Shehu quoted the President as saying, “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.
“Let me warn, however, that nobody or group of people who engages in such despicable acts should expect to go free.
“We will deploy all resources at our disposal to ensure that such callous and criminal elements are brought to justice.”
A spokesperson for the police in the state, Bala Elkana, in a statement, said six bandits were behind the murder.
Elkana said Gulak left his hotel room in Owerri on Sunday to catch a flight without informing the police despite the security situation in the state.
The statement read, “On May 30, around 7.20am, bandits intercepted and attacked a Toyota Camry cab taking Ahmed Gulak and two others who were on their way to the Sam Mbakwe Airport to catch a flight.
“Ahmed 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 in particular.
“He left without any security escorts and while the cab driver took irregular route to the airport, six bandits, who were 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, CP Abutu Yaro, has directed a discreet investigation into the matter as tactical and special forces have been deployed to cordon off the area and arrest perpetrators.”
Killing senseless, wicked —Akeredolu
Similarly, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State in a statement he personally issued on Sunday, also described the killing of the All Progressive Congress chieftain, as senseless and wicked.
The statement reads partly, “This is one murder too many. It is senseless and wicked. The perpetrators of this heinous act are enemies of this country. This contrivance is meant to mislead, confuse and destroy. It bears the unmistakable, despicable imprints of fifth columnists bent on setting the country on the path of conflagration. These criminals must not be allowed to succeed.
Also, the APC chapter in Adamawa State demanded the immediate arrests of the Ahmed Gulak’s killers.
Ibrahim Bilal, Adamawa APC chapter chairman, who spoke with The PUNCH on the telephone on Suday, said, “We are calling on the Federal Government and the Imo State Police Command to investigate and ascertain the actual circumstances surrounding his death, because those behind his death, as seen in the video which has since gone viral on social media, can be seen getting away in a Toyota Sienna.
“We therefore demand the immediate arrests of these killers, anything short of this will be met by retaliations in the North.”
The Pan-Northern socio-political organization, Arewa Consultative Forum also described the killing as tragic.
The ACF National Publicity Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Yawe, in a statement on Sunday said, “It is a reminder to the political class that this insecurity in Nigeria has reached a pandemic level and needs not only widespread treatment but also vaccination.”
IPOB denies responsibility
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra has told security agencies not to link the group to the murder.
The secessionist group, in a statement on Sunday, said, “We state without equivocation that IPOB knows nothing about the said assassination. In the first place, what threat did the late Gulak constitute to our cause to warrant his elimination? We had nothing in common with him and could not have in any way killed him.
“Pointing accusing fingers at IPOB for this barbaric act is only meant to divert attention away from the real masterminds. This is the same way terrorists in security uniform commit various atrocities in the South-East and turn around to blame IPOB for their crimes just to tarnish our global reputation.
“Instead of the security agencies to properly investigate the incident and possible factors, they were swift to accuse IPOB of a crime we know nothing about. Did IPOB have the itinerary of the late Gulak to have waylaid him at the airport?”