PRESS CONFERENCE BY GOVERNOR HOPE UZODIMMA ON THE GRUESOME MURDER OF AHMED GULAK
It is with a very heavy heart that I address you today. The pain of losing a person or loved one, the horror of holding your family member in his or her final moments, the anger of someone being so reckless, so thoughtless that their bullet destroyed your life, are emotions no individual should ever have to endure
I sympathize with the families of those who lost their lives through stray bullets during this period. As you know, the death of anyone diminishes mankind. But the brutal and callous assassination of Alhaji Ahmed Gulak yesterday, Sunday, May 30th, 2021 on his way to the Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport, is painful because he did not deserve to die that way.
The death of this compatriot is a personal loss to me because he was an invaluable friend and brother whose sense of justice, fairness and uprightness endeared him to me. I was shocked to my marrows when the sad news of his callous murder was broken to me. I was getting ready to go to church when the sad news came and I could not attend the service again. It was simply one of the most devastating news I have had in my life and I am yet to recover from the shock. It remains a puzzle to me why anyone would want to murder him in this gruesome and vicious manner.
Alhaji Ahmed Gulak was in Imo State for a national assignment. He came to Owerri with the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendment. Being a humble man, he chose to travel incognito according to his friend who was with him. Someone must have trailed him from the hotel to the airport. That is exactly why his gruesome murder appears to be a clear case of political assassination.
According to reports by the police, he was shot in cold blood and the assailants did not remove a pin from him. It is most benumbing that people chose to waste such an innocent blood in such a dastardly and cowardly manner.
Let me make it very clear that everything will be done by security agencies to find those who murdered Gulak and their sponsors. They will not by the grace of God escape their deserved punishment. This is not in our character as Ibos, not in our tradition nor in our culture. We must condemn this callous act.
I will urge everybody to exercise restraint and allow the police to continue with their investigations, which I understand is already yielding positive results as some arrests have already been made. I commend the police for their speed so far in handling this case.
It is reassuring that the President and Commander in Chief, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, has assured the nation that the perpetrators of this heinous crime would be apprehended and punished.
On our part as a government, we are not sparing any effort in ensuring that the murderers of this patriot are quickly arrested and prosecuted for their evil deeds.
Imo people are very hospitable. The events of the last few weeks do not represent who we truly are.
I believe that the ongoing police investigations will uncover the whole truth; it is common knowledge that those who are innocent need not be afraid. But the guilty will never go scot-free, certainly not in this instant case. Let me also through this medium commiserate with relations and families of victims of kidnapping, armed robberies, banditry and stray bullets in Imo state and to inform you that the government has been reaching out and will continue to reach out to all other victims
May I on behalf of my family, the government and the good people of Imo state convey my heartfelt condolences to the immediate family of Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, the government and the people of Adamawa state and the families of our brothers and sisters in Imo state who lost their lives during this period.
Let me reassure you that Imo State government is committed to finding and punishing the killers. Above all it is our fervent prayers that God in his infinite mercy shall grant us the fortitude to bear these devastating and shocking losses of our beloved one, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak; a great Patriot and Nationalist and others.
Finally, let me also clarify the story trending on the social media platforms, that my convoy was attacked, my convoy was never attacked. That is the wish of those who murdered Gulak.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
Sen. Hope Uzodimma