Unknown gunmen this past week assassinated Dr Chike Akinyuli, husband to the late NAFDAC DG, Dora Akunyili. The police is yet to make an arrest; PDP governors voted to zone its national chairmanship position to the north; Nigeria, on October 1st, marked it’s 61st Independent anniversary as President Buhari delivered a controversial nationwide broadcast.
We are reporting these and more as we review the past week
Gunmen Assassinate Chike Akinyuli
Unknown gunmen during the week killed Dr. Chike Akunyili, husband to late former Information Minister, Prof. Dora Akunyili.
It was gathered that Dr. Chike was murdered by the gunmen at Umuoji in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State on Tuesday evening.
A source disclosed that the late minister’s husband had earlier visited the University of Nigeria Nsukka Alumni Association (UNAA) where the late Dora was honoured.
DSS denies involvement
Following the doctor’s murder, social media was awash with unsubstantiated claims that he was taken out by security agencies.
The DSS was quick to dismiss reports that it had a hand the Mr Akunyili’s murder.
In a statement on Wednesday, DSS spokesperson, Dr. Peter Afunanya, accused criminal elements of spreading false news to divert attention or deploy reverse psychology to deceive unsuspecting members of the public.
The statement read in full; “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to an allegation that its operatives killed Dr. Chike Akunyili. Also, the Service was alerted to a social media video claiming that the “Nigerian DSS” murdered security escorts at Nkpor, Anambra State on 28th September, 2021.
“The Service hereby denies these allegations and wishes to clearly state that they are spurious and illogical. There was no basis for the DSS to kill the Medical Doctor and/or fellow law enforcement agents. The Service cherishes life and believes in the rule of law”
We are innocent – IPOB
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, who have been accused of carrying out killings and attack in the southeast also denied any kind of responsibility or involvement in the murder of Dr. Chike Akunyili.
The group on Wednesday through its spokesperson, Emma Powerful submitted that it doesn’t kill people and specifically, it has nothing against the murdered Akunyili.
Powerful stated further that the gunmen who assassinated Dr. Akunyuli are working closely with those who poisoned and killed Prof. Akunyuli herself as they are after the entire family.
He added that politicians are the ones behind all the killings in Anambra State.
Nigeria’s Independence and Buhari’s speech
The president, during his speech, came hard on sponsors of separatist agitations in the country, accusing them of abandoning their national leadership positions for their selfish gains.
Buhari disclosed that a member of the National Assembly has been identified as sponsor of separatist agitation.
He stated that this came to light following the arrests of leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, alias Igboho.
According to Buhari, “The recent arrests of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, and the ongoing investigations being conducted have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind these individuals.
“We are vigorously pursuing these financiers including one identified as a serving member of the National Assembly.
“This is a clear example of how people abandon their national leadership positions for their selfish gains.”
The president also insisted that Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable.
Buhari’s speech did not go down with some persons, with the convener of the Concerned Nigrian’s, Deji Adeyanju, describing the Buhari-led government as the worst in Nigeria’s history.
He condemned the President for praising the military in his Independence Day statement despite the killings and insecurity across the country.
Adeyanju accused Buhari of not revealing the sponsors of Boko Haram terrorists, while he claim to know the sponsors of the Indigenous People of Biafra and Yoruba Nation.
Similarly, the leader of social-political group Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, described President Buhari as ignorant over his Independence Day nationwide broadcast.
Reacting in a chat on Friday, Pa Adebanjo stated that Buhari was talking nonsense as he was a small boy when the country’s independence and unity was being negotiated in the 1950s.
According to the 93-year old Afenifere leader, in 1953 when the North opposed the call for Independence and rather advocated ‘Araba’ (secession), Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe convinced the northern leadership headed by Ahmadu Bello, to negotiate the terms of their unity and ultimately their independence from British rule.
PDP governors surprisingly zone chairmanship to north
In what may come as a surprise to some ahead of its national convention, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zoned its national chairmanship position to the north.
This development was announced on Thursday in Abuja by the Chairman of the PDP convention zoning committee and Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
He made the announcement at the end of the committee’s meeting.
The declaration follows an earlier report published by Naija News that the governors of the PDP voted to zone the party’s national chairmanship ticket to the north.
The decision to zone the national chairmanship ticket to the north was said to have been taken on Wednesday in Abuja at the Akwa Ibom Governor’s residence.
Treat bandits as terrorists
The Nigerian Senate during the week asked President Buhari to stop treating bandits and kidnappers in the country with kid gloves.
In a series of resolutions during plenary on Wednesday, the upper chamber urged the President to declare bandits as terrorists and treat them the same way Boko Haram insurgents are being treated.
The Red chamber called on the Federal Government to wage total war against the bandits, including bombing all their locations to annihilate and eliminate them.
According to the Senate, all known leadership of the bandits should be declared wanted and the military should arrest and prosecute them.
Following the Senate directive to Buhari, the House of Representatives on Thursady also demanded the proscription of bandits.
The chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson moved a motion of urgent public importance on the matter.
Moving the motion, Benson said the declaration of bandits as terrorists can be done through a proscription order, adding that it will serve as an added impetus for the brave security personnel to redouble their efforts at dealing with this menace.
He added that such declaration when given the force of law will renew the vigour and resolve of our gallant security personnel in dealing with the menace of banditry as the mode of operations and rules of engagement will be scaled up accordingly.”
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, asked if there was any opposition to the motion, the lawmakers chorused, “No!”
The motion was then adopted through a voice vote by the whole House.