Former Presidential Aide, Ahmed Gulak Killed: An Explainer

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A former political adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan was killed in Owerri, Imo State. News of his death has increased national security concerns.

How it happened
Ahmed Gulak was leaving Owerri for Abuja on Saturday night when he was attacked and shot dead by gunmen. The Imo State Police spokesperson claimed that Ahmed Gulak had left his hotel room without alerting any security personnel, Police or otherwise.

According to the spokesperson, Bala Elkana, Gulak had a flight to catch at the Sam Mbakwe airport and was heading there when his vehicle was attacked by “armed bandits” at Umueze Obiaugwu in Ngor-Okpala LGA. There were two others in the vehicle but there is no mention of their fate.

Besides Elkana, Umar Ardo, a Chieftain in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), as well as a close friend to the deceased, also confirmed the death of Ahmed Gulak.

What’s happening now?
The Imo State police will be conducting investigations into the killing of Ahmed Gulak. Meanwhile, special forces were deployed to the area of the crime, to restrict movement and catch suspects.

Also, after the news broke, many pointed fingers at the proscribed group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). However, they have come out to refute all accusations directed at them. Their spokesperson, Emma Powerful said in a statement, “The attention of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the untenable allegation by the security agencies that IPOB was responsible for the assassination of former presidential aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak on his way to Sam Mbakwe Airport Owerri Imo State. We, therefore, state without equivocations that IPOB knows nothing about the said assassination.”

Reaction to the news
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, reacted to the news of Gulak’s death, describing it as “very shocking and disturbing.” He expressed his solidarity with Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, while advising that all governors of Southeastern states take measures to prevent and counter such incidents. He said, “The enemies of the people always employ the weapon of fear to create disaffection in the polity.” In his statement, Akeredolu said that the killing was a deliberate attempt to instigate Northerners in particular against their Southeastern counterparts. He added that banditry shouldn’t be allowed to undermine governmental legitimacy at all levels.

The presidency also reacted to the news. According to reports, the president said that the killing was in order to undermine the “territorial integrity” of the country. He vowed to have justice be done.

Meanwhile, Nigerians wonder at the silence of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma. This is especially since Ahmed Gulak was the chairman of the Action People’s Congress (APC) committee that conducted the party’s primary governorship elections in 2019. It was this election that produced Hope Uzodinma as the party’s candidate.

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