Some Northern pressure groups have reacted angrily to the killing of an influential Northern politician, Ahmad Gulak, on Sunday in Owerri, Imo State. The former Adamawa State Assembly speaker and one time political adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan was murdered while on his way to Sam Mbakwe International Airport, Owerri to catch an early morning fight.
A Northern Youth Council issued a statement late Sunday condemning Gulak’s assassination. The statement by its president Isah Abubakar said to Imo governor, Hope Udodinma that the murder of Gulak was “unacceptable and undesirable” to the North. “Let us state categorically that Northern youths will do everything within their powers to force the government of IMO State to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice. The Imo State governor and other Eastern states governors should take note that we shall not accept the continued killing of Northerners and Northern elites in their region as we shall take revenge henceforth,” the group warned.
“ We condemn the mindless and heartless killing of Gulak, not only because he was one of our own but also because he was a true Nigerian. He was no danger to any body. That is why his violent death is so painful.
The North is understandably hurting right now because it has lost a rising star. However, in our hurt, we must think with a clear head. Vengeance is what the mind is urging but calmness and restraint is what the head is asking of us. This is why we do not go along with NYC which is threatening vengeance.
“Northern statesmen, political leaders and traditional rulers must rise to be counted. In this regard, we commend the President of the Nigerian Senate for being the first high profile Northern politician to reject the NYC’s call to arms. Senator Ahmad Lawan, in a statement by his special media adviser, Ola Awoniyi on Monday appealed to those calling for revenge to exercise restraint and allow the security agencies to serve justice in the matter. Entitled “Senate President condemns killing of Ahmed Gulak”, the statement said “the dastardly act was one crime too many” and called for “a swift investigation to bring all who are involved in the crime to justice.
“The Senate President says there can be no justification for the brutal murder of a human being and fellow citizen. Lawan, however, appeals for restraint on the part of those calling for revenge, saying they should allow the relevant authorities to serve justice in the matter as the injury of the crime was inflicted on Nigeria as a whole.”
While we urge many more Northern leaders to talk the region’s young Turks out of avenging Gulak, we find it unfortunate that politicians, particularly governors, of the Southeast have been rather quiet about the matter. Their silence is all the more intriguing, and more so that the police have said persons they have “neutralized” in connection with Gulak’s killing were members of the banned Indigenous Peoples of Biafra”. They must speak up now before this incendiary burns out of hand.