Ahmed Gulak, a former Political Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, was assassinated by a yet-to-be-identified gunmen in Owerri, the capital of Imo state earlier today.
Although several influencers and media outfits, including PR Nigeria, a pro government medium, and one Mr Kayode Ogundamisi, a social media supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, attributed the killing to a pro Biafran separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), as being responsible for the willing.
While I am of the view that it is premature for anyone to point fingers at IPOB or anyone without proper investigation, I believe that past events would help give a pointer.
Recall that on October 2nd, 2018, Ahmed Gulak was at the centre of controversy in the gubernatorial primary of All Progressive Congress in Imo state. As Chairman of the APC committee that conducted the primary, Ahmed Gulak announced Senator Hope Uzodinma (now Governor) as winner of the contest and lawfully elected candidate of the party. He claimed that Uzodinma polled 423,895 votes to defeat Chief Uche Ugumba Nwosu, the son-inlaw and preferred of Governor Rochas Okorocha (as then was), and seven others.
Following the declaration of Uzodinma, Rochas Okorocha accused Gulak of not conducting the direct primary election but fleeing to Abuja to fraudulently declaring Hope Uzodinma as winner.
Meanwhile, a second faction of the committee for the same primary declared Uche Ugumba Nwosu as winner.
Speaking about it, Gulak stated that he narrowly escaped being kidnapped by Rochas Okorocha over the same primary.
“Immediately we landed at the airport, that was where the problem started. They wanted to kidnap every member and only God knows where they wanted to take us to, which I refused.”, Gulak stated in an interview with Vanguard Newspaper on 8th November 2018. He further stated that he narrowly escaped being killed by Okorocha’s group. This claim was however denied by Rochas Okorocha.
Considering the above, it was clear that the late Gulak had issues with Okorocha due to the 2018 event. In fact, Ahmed Gulak has been a regular guest in Imo state since Senator Uzodinma, an arch political rival of Okotocha, assumed office in January 2020.
We may also recall that at several times, Governor Hope Uzodinma has attributed the activities of the “Unkwown Gunmen” in Imo state state, including attack on his house, to plot by “politicians” to bring trouble to Imo state.
“Preliminary investigation suggests that the foiled attack may have been politically sponsored. The government has directed the relevant security agencies to expedite investigation on the incident and promptly apprehend the sponsors and their agents and bring them to justice.”, Declan Emelumba, the Imo state Information commissioner stated this on 24th April, in a statement following an attack of the Governor’s house.
Unfortunately, Gulak was killed in same Imo state on Sunday (today) in a suspected assassination move. I say this because various media reports neither stated that he was shot by armed robbers nor was it a case of stray bullet.
Furthermore, media reports, including a statement by Dr Umar Ado, Gulak’s classmate, confirmed that the former Admawa State House Speaker was killed on his way to Abuja, Nigeria’s FCT. This simply points that the assassins had foreknowledge of Gulak’s movement.
Although, only a proper investigation can unravel who killed Gulak, I believe that attributing his death to IPOB without any proper investigation, is not only premature but deliberate attempt to heighten already tensed situation in Imo state and create ethnic conflict.
While we await for proper investigation to unravel the culprits, their motive and sponsors (if any), I pray that God forgive Gulak of his shortcomings and grant his soul peaceful rest.