By Augustine Anioke
South East Governors’ Forum have condemned the gruesome murder of Dr. Chike Akunyili, the husband to late Professor Dora Akunyili, former Minister of Information by unknown gunmen.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ebonyi state, David Umahi gave the condemnation in a statement issued by his Media Aide, Nwaze Francis.
Akunyili was killed by gunmen on Tuesday evening in Anambra State while returning from a programme held to honour his late wife who was once the Director-General of National Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
The Governors expressed concern over how the region is now losing most of its finest to hoodlums in the zone.
They commiserated with the people of Agulu, the Anambra State Government, and Ndigbo on the unfortunate event of the murder of the elder statesman.
The statement quoted Umahi as appealing to Security Agencies to rise to the occasion and arrest all perpetrators of the dastardly act to enable them to face justice.
“We have received the shocking story of the gruesome murder of one of our brightest and the husband to our late former Director-General of NAFDAC, late Professor Dora Akunyili by unknown gunmen.
“On behalf of the Governors of the South East, we condemn the act. It is not only barbaric, but it is also unbecoming how much human lives no longer matter in our Society.
“We give Security Agencies a marching order to go all to uncover and arrest all the perpetrators of this inhuman act and make them face justice.”, Umahi said.
The governors also charged the people of the zone to collaborate with relevant security apparatus including the Ebubeagu regional Security outfit to stamp out insecurity in the South East Zone.
They prayed God to grant the departed rest in his bossom.
Ohanézè: Southeast Under siege
Apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanézè Ndígbo has lamented that the southeast is under siege by hoodlums and unknown gunmen.
President-General of Ohanézè, Amb. George Obiozor stated this on Wednesday in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi state.
Amb. Obiozor said the recent killings in the southeast especially that of dr Choke Akunyili calls for introspection by the people of region.
The Ohanézè President spoke at the Ebonyi State Ecumenical Centre, during a Prayer Session to mark World Igbo Day Celebration organised by the Association in conjunction with Christian Association of Nigeria,Southeast Zone.
Represented by the Secretary-General of Ohanézè, Okey Emuche, the President-General described the brutal killing of late NAFDAC DG, Dora Akunyili’s husband, Chike by unknown gunmen as a terrible development.
He said: “We need to take a pause in the Igbo nation, we need to seek the face of God. We need to think about today, the Igbo nation is under siege with killings.
“A video was sent to me, the husband of late Dr. Dora Akunyili was brutally murdered. If you see the video, if you don’t hold yourself very well, you won’t be able to do anything.
“The killings in the last couple of days in Anambra calls retrospection, calls a prayer sessional pause. We are under siege, the south east states are under siege.
“We plead with the men of God gathered here. The CAN President is here, they are mothers in this hall, they are fathers in t 10his hall. Something needs to be done, something urgent needs to be done.
“This is the message of the President General of Ohanaeze. He has asked IPOB and other groups to stop this killings because if you kill everybody, who will be there?
“We need to take a pause as a people and understand what is confronting us. Beyond sit-at-home, these killings that have started going round from one state to the other in the IPOB will finish us”.
Speaking, the Southeast CAN Chairman, Rev Father Abraham Nwali said the killings shows that the region is still largely disunited.
He called on the people of the region to come together in unity and fight the scorge.
He noted that only if the people of the region love one another and remind united will they be able to elevate the region to the best possible height it can attain.
IPOB denies involvement in killings
Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has debunked the report that it is behind the killing of Dr Chike Akunyili, husband of Dora Akunyii, and others in Anambra State and Imo states.
The group’s spokesperson Emma Powerful made this known in a statement he issued on Wednesday.
Many residents had suspected that the attack was carried out by the pro secessionist group or its security arm, Eastern Security Network (ESN).
But Powerful said IPOB and ESN are not the same as the group called unknown gunmen
He expressed regrets that people with evil agendas for the people of the region still link IPOB to the murderous group.
Powerful also added that IPOB has no intention of fomenting trouble and warned those linking them to unknown gunmen to desist from such allegations.
“Dora Akunyili’s husband is not our problem and cannot be. Let Anambra people and Biafrans know that we have no business with Mazi Chike Akunyili.
“We have disassociated ourselves from this group unknown gunmen but people with evil agenda to the people of Biafra are still linking IPOB to this murderous group. IPOB doesn’t know anything about Dora Akunyili’s husband because we are not unknown gunmen.
“ESN was set up to protect and secure our mothers and sisters to go to the farms. Those doing this are trying to do it so our people will support IPOB.
“But Biafrans are wiser and know what traitors are doing. We want to make it clear to them that IPOB is not behind the killing going on in Anambra State. It is politicians killing people in the state.
“IPOB has no intention of fomenting trouble in our land. Please, we beg those linking us into this madness to desist because they will regret their actions soon. “
“We have no issues with Chike Akunyili and we didn’t kill him, those behind this act must stop this and stop using IPOB name, we don’t want anybody to blame IPOB because we must get them, this is pure political assassination going on in Anambra State now”
Mr Powerful said those perpetrating the killings are doing so to discourage Biafrans who are encouraging and supporting the group.
“But it can’t work for them, in the near future those committing this atrocities in Imo and Anambra States will hear from IPOB and our people should not blame us because we must get them”
Continuing, Mr Powerful said the group has not made any statement that Anambra election will not hold
“We wish to clarify that IPOB has never issued any official statement that there would be no governorship election in Anambra State.
“Those peddling such rumour are not our members, and should be ignored. Our position on Anambra election will be made public at the right time through our normal channels of information dissemination.
“Anything to the contrary should be disregarded. Members of the public should stop believing social media fake stories purported to have emanated from IPOB. We are an organized movement and we don’t hide our position on any matter”.
“Had IPOB issued a statement regarding Anambra election, by now traitors like would have been ranting that it was IPOB that killed APGA and APC members killed along Nnobi junction last week”.
“It is obvious that those that burnt Anambra Government House and other parts of the state some years back are back to use intimidations and killings to subdue their opponents ahead of the elections”, he said.
IPOB is a group which is seeking an independent state to be carved out of present day eastern Nigeria. Ends