Nigerians mourn brutal murder of Chike Akunyili

4 months ago | 204

Chike Akunyili

MANY Nigerians were traumatized when the news of the brutal murder of Chike Akunyili, a medical doctor and husband of a former minister of information, Prof. Dora Akunyire was announced on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, report, Akunyili was killed alongside his orderly, a priest and others by unknown gunmen on their way from Onitsha to Umuoji at Afor Nkpor in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

Reacting to the news of the murder of Akunyili, Prof. Pat Utomi, a political economist, described the murder of Akunyili, as terrible and a bad omen for Anambra state and the country.

Utomi told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Thursday in Lagos that it was a very horrible act, a very terrible thing. It is a bad omen for the state of things in Anambra and Nigeria in general.

“First and foremost, Dr Akunyili was a very distinguished professional, not known for any major political, communal or any of those things that are friction related.

“For somebody, who was giving so much of his life serving society, his wife was an icon of service, to be killed in such a manner, is terrible.

“It also makes a statement about the fact that the security challenges of our time have now become a national emergency. We can’t explain it away anymore,” he said.

On the consequence of the killings on the upcoming Anambra governorship election scheduled for Nov. 6, Utomi said that such killings could affect the mindset of the electorate negatively.

“It means that our democracy is being threatened,” he said.

Utomi, who expressed his condolences to the children and family of the late medical doctor, stated: “I am really devastated by the news of his death and the manner of his death.”

For the Agulu Community in Anambra state where Akunyili hailed from, a three-day mourning was declared for their two sons murdered by gunmen at Madonna Catholic Church Agulu and Nkpor. Azubuike Anikwata from Ifiteani Village Agulu, who came back from Turkey and was busy building an industry in their community was murdered in Agulu, while Chike Akunyili was killed in Nkpor.   

Onyebuchi Okpala, PG Caretaker of Agulu, said in a statement that “on this note we Ndi Agulu in general commenced the three-day mourning from September 29 to Oct 1, 2021.

“We also call on the state government to beef up security in the state and quickly visit the families of the deceased and pay condolences.”

“Meanwhile all political activities in the community are hereby suspended during the mourning period,” he said.

In his reaction, Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra state has condemned unequivocally the violence that has been witnessed in Anambra state in the past few days and that the state government is ready to pay the sum of N20 million reward for any useful information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.

The governor, who spoke on Wednesday, September 29, during a press briefing, noted that reports from Security Commanders showed that between Sunday 26th and Tuesday 28th September 2021 some armed persons had unleashed terror with sporadic attacks on innocent citizens in various parts of the state.

“It is on a very sad note that I address the state today to condemn in very strong terms, the violence that has been witnessed in Anambra in the past few days.

“The people behind this must be unmasked and brought to book. I urge citizens to report to us anybody bearing firearm, who is not a security or vigilante personnel, so we can deal with this monster, once and for all. Call 07039194332 or approach any security deployment if you have any information. As the Americans say, “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING”.

“To reinforce our commitment and seriousness on this issue, I on behalf of the State Government, wish to announce a N20 million reward for any useful information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators of these heinous attacks on our state.

“I have received from Security Commanders, Offices of some political parties, branded campaign vehicles and individuals occupying them have been attacked with killings and burning of vehicles observed. Other innocent road users have become victims of this menace with many losing their lives and others, their properties.

He noted that the attacks on citizens at Oko, Agulu, Obosi, Nkpor, Nnobi, Nnewi and other places have left about 10 people dead, including an illustrious son of this state, Chike Akunyili, husband of late Prof Dora Akunyili, who was reportedly gunned down around Nkpor.

“These are our own people dying every day and for what reason?

Ndi Anambra, these attacks and accompanying deaths cannot be justified and must stop now,” he said.

 The governor added that he has instructed all the security agencies in the state to beef up the state security and stand up to the challenge of protecting the lives and properties of the Anambra people.

“I have therefore conducted an extensive security meeting and have directed all security agencies to step up and confront this monster ravaging our land.

“I charge everyone involved in the security architecture of Anambra State to take very seriously, this threat to our livelihood and boldly rise to confront same. Everything that needs to be done will be done and no stone will be left unturned in this effort.

“My directive to this effect is clear and i urge every security personnel on duty in Anambra State to do his utmost best to secure our people,” he said.

The governor, while urging the people of the state to go on with their lawful business, also added that they must all join forces with the security agencies to keep the state safe.

“No Anambra son will indulge in this kind of heartlessness. I warn all those promoting and participating in these violent attacks to leave our state or pay a high price as we will definitely catch up with them.

“I urge all citizens of the state to unite in this fight against all forms of terror, intimidation and tyranny. We will not succumb to invaders.

“To all citizens of Anambra State and every person living and doing business in our State, I urge you now to join forces with us to confront this common enemy. We cannot condone this savagery for any reason whatsoever. I, therefore, call on all our youths in the State to rise up and protect our communities. Traditional Rulers, Presidents General, Clergymen, Vigilante Groups and all leadership structures must now take responsibility and in conjunction with the police, military and other law enforcement agencies, work to restore order immediately.

“To all law-abiding citizens and persons living in our state, I urge you to go about your lawful businesses, but we must now all go to work and take back our State. This is Anambra, the Light of the Nation, where darkness has no place. The events of the last one week will not be allowed to fester and by God’s grace, we shall overcome,’’ he added.

Gov. Obiano also expressed his condolence with the families of all those who have lost their loved ones in the course of these senseless attacks.

“I promise you that we will leave no stone unturned in getting justice for them. May their souls rest in peace,’’ he added.

While many Nigerians are mourning the murder of Akunyili, Following the sit at home order on October 1st 2021, Emma Powerful, media and publicity secretary for Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, said: “We the global family of the IPOB ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wish to place every resident of Biafra on red alert over plots by the enemies to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens under the guise of enforcing the sit-at-home order.

“Our volunteers and security operatives should be on alert in every part of Biafra land. We realize that some hoodlums working for our enemies would want to capitalize on this order and attack people and turn around and blame it on IPOB.

“IPOB through its intelligence units has discovered that the Nigerian establishment working in cohort with the Fulani Oligarchy has activated their second phase of their plan to take over Indigenous peoples ancestral lands. Mailafia, who revealed this plan of the Fulani to start targeted killings of prominent southerners have commenced in earnest with the gruesome murder of Chike Akunyili. They will commit these murders and hide under the name of unkown gunmen to attack more innocent and prominent people during the sit-at-home. We are raising this alarm so that Biafrans and residents of Biafra will beware of this evil plot by these blood suckers. They want to go on killing spree in Biafra land and blame it on IPOB. Everybody will have to be cautious because the enemies are here with their agents of death.

“These vampires, who murdered Dr. Chike Akunyili, two days ago still want to sustain their murderous campaign in Biafra land but they will meet their waterloo. Our intelligence has revealed that they want to commit more atrocities on October 1st and blame it on IPOB.

“According to the intelligence, these blood suckers want to also attack children in Biafra land to create the impression that IPOB is now attacking school children. Killing is never part of our mandate.

“Contrary to campaign of calumny sponsored by our enemies to demonise us, IPOB has no hands in the orgy of attacks in Biafra land. We have no pleasure in attacking or killing our people. The ultimate intension of the masterminds of this barbarity is to make Biafra land especially South East as insecure and porous as the terrorists-infested Northern region.

“We therefore want to place our people on red alert over the plot by our enemies to destabilise our region. This has become necessary following the recent revelation by a South West Governor that a Northern governor is exporting bandits from the North to other parts of Nigeria. Bandits have taken over the whole North and they are now trying to replicate such in our land, but we must resist them.  It’s now obvious that Fulani terrorists are everywhere and perfecting the war of jihad in our land.

“This season calls for more vigilance among our people. We must all synergise as a people to provide security for every resident of Biafra land. We won’t allow our enemies to create the atmosphere of fear and terror in our land.

“We are holding the Nigerian state and some politicians from the Northern part of the country and their fellow politicians in Biafran land using DSS and sacked SARS officers accountable for the festering insecurity in our land.  They are responsible for the senseless killings going on in Biafra land particularly in Anambra and Imo states,” the statement said.

Reacting to the statement by IPOB, the Department of State Services, DSS, said that it had no hand in the killing of Chike Akunyili.

Peter Afunanya, the DSS spokesman, said in a statement on Wednesday, September 29, that the claim was “spurious and illogical”.

“The attention of the service has been drawn to an allegation that its operatives killed Chike Akunyili.

“It was also alleged that the DSS murdered security escorts at Nkpor, in Anambra, 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.

“The public should be wary of the false narratives by those desirous of using it (the Service), to cover up their heinous acts.

“The operations of these hostile elements are already well known in the public space and to the discerning,” he said.

The image maker said that the service and sister agencies would not relent in tracking down those behind the breakdown of law and order so as to bring them to justice.

- Oct. 01, 2021 @ 18:30 GMT |

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