Family members in shock, fear reprisal attacks, to meet weekend
But for illness, Salome might have escaped — Relation
PDP, APC demand justice; ABC Nwosu, Sonibare, others outraged
Our democracy in danger, says Shettima, AYCF leader
By Clifford Ndujihe, Boluwaji Obahopo, Omeiza Ajayi & Olayinka Ajayi
LAGOS — Residents of Ochamadu community, Ofu, Kogi State have disagreed with the Police on the reason Mrs Salome Acheju Abuh, the Women leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Wada/Aro Campaign Organisation in Kogi was burnt to death by political thugs on Monday.
According to them, the arson was premeditated and political as opposed to the Police claim of reprisal attack
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The State police command through its Public Relation Officer, DSP William Aya had attributed her gory death to a reprisal attack from All Progressives Congress, APC supporters whose member was stabbed to death by a relative of the woman.
The residents spoke as Mrs. Abuh’s relation said the deceased would have escaped from the political thugs who burnt her to death at her Ochadamu country home, if she had not taken ill.
Mrs Abuh was locked in her house and burnt down with the building by aggrieved political thugs, who were said to be celebrating the victory of Governor Yahaya Bello of the APC, in Saturday’s governorship poll.
An indigene of the community, Aduku Grace, said the targeted suspects who ran towards the house were not caught, and wondered why the aggrieved arsonists took their anger on the woman.
She said: “The manner by which they shot at the house, burnt it and disallowed the woman from getting out, shooting sporadically towards the door give credence to our belief that the woman was their target from beginning.”
The Ochadamu community flayed the slow pace of Police investigation as 48 hours after, no arrest has been made.
The slow pace of action from the security agencies has angered the community with many saying the arson against the women was more than what the police are saying.
Mrs. Abuh used to be a councillor in Ochadamu, Ofu Local Government Area. The area had never been the stronghold of the PDP until the time of late Governor Abubakar Audu who hailed from the council area.
Mrs Abuh, 60 relocated fully to Abuja in 2015 when the PDP government which she served as a councillor lost election to APC. She was said to have been a regular at home for political participation.
Her husband, a pharmacist, also practised in Abuja.
But for illness, Salome might have escaped, family member laments
Speaking as outrage greeted the death of his aunt, a nephew of the woman, who gave his name as Audi Ayiba, told Vanguard at Ochadamu that “it was the sickness that made it impossible for her to escape the attack. Since the attackers were coming from the frontage, her thought of escaping through the window was hindered by the burglary proof.”
Ayiba, who disclosed that Abuh’s family members will meet by weekend to take a decisive action on her death, added that the family has decided to make the meeting discreet because of fear of further attacks.
He admitted that there are ill-feelings, and fear of reprisal attack from family members who are still in shock.
However, he said they have been prevailed upon not to retaliate.
Ayiba dispelled rumour that the arson was premeditated, saying that it was spontaneous because the woman’s son was involved in the altercation that led to the ugly development.
“One of the sons of the late woman was involved in the altercation with the APC members, who were jubilating over the governor’s victory. In the process, her son and some other persons who were engaged in altercation with the jubilating group, stabbed one of those jubilating who later died in the community hospital.
“The irate APC members mobilized to the woman’s house, burnt the house and some other houses. Our mother (we call her mother) was sick even before the election day and was resting at home.
“It was the sickness that made it impossible for her to escape the attack. Since the attackers were coming from the front, her thought of escaping through the window was hindered by the burglary proof.”
Ayiba however said her immediate family members are in Abuja, and we will hold a meeting with some of the extended members before weekend.
Meanwhile outrage trailed Mrs. Abuh’s gruesome death, yesterday.
With unanimity, those spoke to Vanguard decried the dastardly act and called for justice even though the Police are yet to make any arrest 48 hours after the incident.
Those who spoke on the issue include the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC; main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; former Health Minister, Professor ABC Nwosu; acting National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Chief Supo Shonibare; a member of the House of Representatives, David Zacharias; and National President of the Arewa Consultative Youth Forum, AYCF, Alhaji Yerima Shettima.
Her death has continued to generate heat as different groups are calling for proper investigation. One of those condemning the act is the House of Reps member of the area, David Zacharias who described the act as dastardly, inhuman, barbaric and wants security agents to go after the perpetrators.
Zacharias, representing Idah/Ofu federal constituency spoke yesterday when he led some of his supporters on a visit to the house of the deceased.
Expressing disappointment, noting that the act was a total disrespect for the sanctity of human life, the lawmaker called for calm in the community and beyond.
Noting that the incident was not a direct political crisis as it being speculated in some sections of the media, he assured that he would get to the root of the matter regardless of the reason behind the ungodly and inhuman behaviour.
He condoled with the PDP and the immediate family of the late Achaju Abuh, and appealed to youths of the community to refrain from any further reprisals attracts, and allow law enforcement agents to do their work effectively.
“I feel very pained and disappointed that after a peaceful electoral process where we did not record a single death in the area until this ugly incident happened. I can assure you that this will not be swept under the carpet. We will allow security agents do their job by fishing out those behind this dastardly act and they will face the consequences of their actions”.
“We must first understand that we are brothers and sisters and nothing whatsoever should allow us think wickedly towards our fellow human beings.”
PDP demands Justice
The National Working Committee, NWC, of the PDP has called on the security apparatus to fish out the killer of Mrs. Abuh.
PDP on Wednesday in a statement by his National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan rained curses on the arsonists, “our party once again mourns our compatriots killed by the APC in this election, including our Woman Leader, Acheju Abuh, who was burnt to death by APC thugs at her home on Monday.”
While invoking the wrath of God on the perpetrators of the gruesome killings, the party calls on the Police to immediately track down and bring their killers to book.
However, the state government said the Special Adviser on the security to the governor, Jerry Omodara has been given a marching order to work with the police to apprehend the perpetrators.
APC condemns post-election violence in Kogi
The ruling APC also condemned the post-election violence that led to the death of Abuh as well as the destruction of property in the state.
APC in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, condoled with the family of the deceased and others affected by the post-election violence.
“While the Kogi police command says the killing was as a result of a reprisal attack, we urge the Kogi people to ensure this does not escalate. We are aware that the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has already directed law enforcement agencies to fish out the perpetrators.
“The APC abhors violence and other criminalities which sadly continue to plague our electioneering process. We urge partisans to see the election as a democratic contest and not a do or die affair that we play with our lives. We pray that the culprits are caught and the full weight of the law is brought to bear on them.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has advised partisans that are not satisfied with the results of governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states to seek redress in court and shun violence. We must all heed this call”, the party counselled.
Our democracy now in danger, time for activists to come together – Shettima
Speaking on the issue, Shettima said: ‘’What happened in Kogi is a clear indication that we are out of democracy. It is a game of dictatorship or foisting individuals on people. It is clear that Kogi people has demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubts that they have nothing to do with Governor Yahaya Bello.
‘’The government of the day has been foisting individuals on the people but the case of Kogi is so embarrassing. It is clear that our democracy has been threatened. It is for genuine pro-democracy, who fought for our democracy to come together, forge a common front and fight for democracy.
IGP should get to the bottom of this – Sonibare
Peeved by the dastardly act, Acting National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Chief Supo Sonibare urged the security agencies to the root of it.
His words: “The power brokers in politics appear not to have value for human life. We will expect the Inspector General of Police to get to the bottom of this. From the reports we read, the DSS are supposed to be the investigatory agent that should look into the dastardly act and someone should be held responsible because it could not have been perpetuated by somebody within her party. It is thorough investigation on it that would kill rumour”.
No meaningful government shouldn’t allow such evil – ABC Nwosu
Also, former political adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and member of the PDP, Board of Trusties, BoT, Professor ABC Nwosu, who sympathized with her family said: “I am just sad for the woman’s family. But this thing is not new; they are just coming back again. The worst form of corruption is electoral corruption because democracy is about elections and when elections are improperly and violently done, it is the worst form of corruption and no meaningful government should allow such evil.”