Governors Hope Uzodinma and Nyesom Wike of Imo and Rivers states have differed on the motive of the murder of Ahmed Gulak, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The politician was attacked by the gunmen around Umueze Obiangwu in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State, close to the Sam Mbakwe Airport road in Owerri, the state capital, according to the Imo Police Command.
Addressing Imo people in a broadcast at the Government House in Owerri the Imo State capital, on Monday, Governor Uzodinma described the incident as an unfortunate clear case of political assassination.
According to the governor, he is really saddened by the gruesome murder which underscores the ugly security situation in Imo State in recent times, insisting that the events of the last few weeks in the state do not represent the true character of the Imo people.
He said: “I was shocked to my marrows when the sad news of his callous murder was broken to me. I was getting ready to go to church when the sad news came and I could not attend the service again. It was simply one of the most devastating news I have had in my life and I am yet to recover from the shock.
“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.
“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 innocent blood in such a dastardly and cowardly manner.”
Governor Uzodinma assured the Imo people that the government will not leave any stone unturned in going after and apprehending anyone or group perpetrating all the criminal activities in the state.
“Let me make it very clear that everything will be done by security agencies to find those who murdered Gulak and their sponsors. They will not by the grace of God escape their deserved punishment,” he said.
The governor sympathized with the families of those who lost their lives within the recent period of unrest, most especially the family of late Ahmed Gulak.
But reacting in a television interview later in the day, Governor Wike said it is too early for his Imo State counterpart to declare that the killing was a political assassination.
Governor Wike said Governor Uzodinma should have exercised patience and allow the security agencies to do the job for which they were established.
“I think that the governor of Imo State, my brother, Hope Uzodinma, should allow the security agencies to do their proper investigation for it is too early now for him to come out to say it is a political assassination,” the Rivers State Governor said on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“Having done that, it means that you already know those who committed the crime and that will not be fair. When things of this nature happen, allow the security agencies to really go into the matter and then say look, from our investigations, this is what we found out.”
While commiserating with the Gulak family, Governor Wike noted that no loss of life that is acceptable, regardless of the form it takes.
He, however, warned against the politicizing of Gulak’s death, stressing that all extrajudicial killings of citizens in the country must be treated as unacceptable.