Mr. Philip Shekwo, Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nasarawa State, who was abducted at 11pm from his residence in the Bukan Sid area of the state capital, Lafia, was found dead on a nearby bush the next day. Residents said the gunmen shot into the air several times to avoid being challenged by security agencies and neighbours.
Commissioner of Police, Dele Longe, confirmed Shekwo’s death late Sunday. He said, “Unidentified gunmen in a large number stormed the residence of the APC Chairman in Lafia around 11 O’clock on Saturday night. It was more than kidnapping, as they took him away, but no ransom demand was made; we believe it was a planned assassination. We investigated, trailed and found his corpse few meters away from his house. This is unfortunate and sad.”
Governor Abdullahi Sule and his immediate predecessor Senator Umaru Al-Makura have called to condole with the family. President Muhammadu Buhari late Sunday afternoon deplored the killing, saying the nation’s security system must do more to end the spate of violence in the country. He welcomed the decision of the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu to send reinforcement of men and materials to Nasarawa State. “I strongly condemn the killing of Philip Shekwo. He was kind and jovial.”
The APC, on its own part, has charged the police and other security services to fish out the killers of Shekwo. Yekini Nabena, the party’s deputy national publicity secretary, gave the charge in a statement on Sunday in Abuja. “This is a dark day for the APC family; we condole with the late Shekwo’s immediate family, the governor of Nasarawa, Abdullahi Sule, the State Working Committee, the party’s supporters and members over the killing. We urge a thorough investigation by the police and other relevant security service to quickly fish out the sponsors and perpetrators of this evil,” Nabena said. He stressed that the perpetrators should be made to face the full weight of the law.
We at Peoples Daily deeply deplore the killing of Mr. Shekwo, not only because he was a party chieftain, in the words of Buhari, “friendly and jovial” but also because he was a decent citizen undeserving of the manner of his death. We join the President, APC and all law abiding Nigerian to demand that his killers be fished out and brought to book. We want to draw attention to the insight provided by CP Longe. “Those who killed him were not kidnappers and where we saw his dead body is too close to his house. Within a twinkling of an eye, the man was killed. No ransom was demanded. I think his killers were assassins,” he said.
If, indeed, Shekwo’s killers were assassins, then who hired them and for what motive? His residence is said to be in a highbrow area of Lafia where security is tight 24 hours. How come the hired killers came, took away Shekwo, killed him and got away? These are questions that the police investigation should find answers to.