Apprehending Dr Chike Akunyili’s murderers – Vanguard
THE murder of Dr. Chike Akunyili, the husband of the late Prof. Dora Akunyili, has spread fear and anger not only in Anambra State where it took place but also throughout the country. While President Muhammadu Buhari assured that the perpetrators would “face judgement”, Governor Willie Obiano placed a N20 million bounty on them.
Dr. Akunyili, a soft-spoken medical doctor who had never been associated with politics of any sort, had just received an award on behalf of his illustrious late wife, Dora, who served Nigeria with all her strength as National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) D-G and Minister for Information, was killed along with his police orderly and driver and five others in the vicinity by gunmen.
Preliminarily named as the “prime suspect” is the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which had mounted a vocal advocacy against the participation of Anambra people in the November 6, 2021 governorship election. In a swift rebuff however, the Spokesman of the IPoB, Emma Powerful, said the organisation had no reason whatsoever to go after Akunyili.
Governor Obiano said 10 people had been murdered by gunmen within a few days prior to this dastardly act. Coming at the onset of preparations for the annual homecoming of the Igbo people who live all over the country and in the Diaspora, the mounting insecurity in the South-East due to free-roaming gunmen must be halted and investigated.
It is so sad that these killings, which have been much more pronounced in Imo and Anambra states, have been allowed to continue. The security and law enforcement agencies which are quick to blame IPOB and its organs with little evidential support, have not helped matters. In May this year, an Adamawa State-born politician, Ahmed Gulak, was also killed in Imo State, and it looks like that case has joined myriads of other unsolved assassinations.
The Federal Government must join efforts with the governors of the South East and leaders of thought to unmask the so-called “unknown gunmen” who have enjoyed a free rein in the South-East since the #EndSARS protests nearly a year ago. Freelance gunmen have been targeting police and security officials and burning down their establishments.
After initially blaming IPOB and its affiliates, Governor Hope Uzodimma disclosed that majority of those apprehended in connection with the killings and Owerri jailbreak were not of Igbo stock but people of Sahelian origins. Could it be that some other interests have capitalised on the “unknown gunmen” situation to go on their own murderous missions in the zone?
It is only the police and security agencies who can get to the bottom of this worrisome situation and bring the perpetrators – whoever they are – to book.