Chintex And Nigeria’s Political Assassination Industry

By Casmir Igbokwe

Few days ago, I watched with horror the viral video of the brutal killing of a certain young man. Like a carpenter trying to drive a six-inch nail on a hard wood, the killer repeatedly hit the skull of his victim with hammer. The man’s skull broke into pieces. With relish, the cannibal ate some pieces of his victim’s scattered bones while people in the background watched with delight. I am not sure where the incident happened. But I have continued to wonder where our humanity has gone.

No doubt, Nigeria has become a slaughterhouse for its citizens. We are all living witnesses to the mindless killing of innocent people in different parts of the country. Ours has become a country of terrorists, bandits and assassins. On Monday, November 28, 2022, some gunmen invaded the house of the Labour Party women leader in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Mrs. Victoria Chintex, and shot her dead. Her husband reportedly sustained gunshot injuries and has been receiving treatment at a medical facility. The assailants were said to have rejected a monetary offer made by the husband of the deceased.

A few weeks ago, most Nigerians saw a viral video of this noble and industrious woman where she led a song with the lyrics, “Peter Obi will save us.” A great motivator, Mrs. Chintex said she loved Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in 2023 election, because of his humility and sincerity.

What could she have done to warrant this type of brutal death? Only those who killed her can say exactly why they committed such a crime. We can only guess that it’s political assassination.

That was how another woman was murdered in Kogi State in November 2019. The crime of the woman, Mrs. Salome Abuh, was that she did not support the APC and the re-election of Governor Yahaya Bello. She happened to be the women leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Wada Aro Campaign Council, Ochadamu ward in Kogi. Just like in Kaduna, the ruling party in Kogi is the All Progressives Congress (APC). Soon after the November 16, 2019 governorship election in that state, some thugs suspected to be loyal to the APC invaded the house of Mrs. Abuh. The spokesman of the Wada/Aro Campaign Council, Faruk Adejoh-Audu, said then that the hoodlums shot sporadically and chanted GYB 4+4. This was the then mantra for the re-election of Governor Yahaya Bello for another four-year term.

As Adejoh-Audu put it then: “The thugs surrounded the house, bolting every exit and escape from outside. They then poured petrol on the building and set it ablaze as other terrorized villagers watched from hiding. She reportedly attempted to escape through a window but was prevented by the metal burglary proof and gunshots with bullets raining in her direction. The blood-thirsty thugs waited, shooting and watching with relish while Mrs. Abuh cried from inside the inferno until her voice died out.”

What manner of people will carry out this type of killing against a harmless, defenseless woman? One of the culprits, Ocholi Edicha, was convicted by a High Court sitting in Idah, Kogi State, in March 2021and sentenced to merely 12 years and six months in prison for culpable homicide.

We are also waiting to see what will be the punishment for the suspects arrested for the brutal killing of my compatriot, Hon. Okey Okoye, last May. Mr. Okoye was a member of the House of Assembly representing Aguata II Constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly. He was campaigning for a second term in office and was going back to his base in Awka after a meeting in his town, Isuofia. Some gunmen waylaid and kidnapped him and his aide, Cyril Chiegboka jnr. Despite collecting huge ransom, their assailants still decapitated them. Their headless bodies were later found after the incident.

There are many more of such brutal killings in Nigeria. Last April, some gunmen suspected to be assassins stormed the Igangan hometown of the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Atakunmosa East-Central Local Council Development Area of Osun State, Gbenga Ogbara, and killed him. The assailants had hinted that Ogbara was among 10 other party members listed for assassination.

Also assassinated for their apparent political views or differences were the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige (December 23, 2001); Rivers State top politicians: Harry Marshall (March 5, 2003) and Aminasoari Dikibo (February 6, 2004); and Lagos politician, Funso Williams (July 27, 2006).

These killings have persisted because many thugs are in possession of illegal arms. Late last month, the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), said the proliferation of small arms and light weapons constituted a grave threat to Nigeria’s security. President Muhammadu Buhari also lamented recently that some of the weapons used in the Russia/Ukraine war had found their way to the Sahel region of West Africa including Nigeria. Even some of the arms used in Libya have ended up here in Nigeria because of our porous borders. Over six million illegal arms are said to be in circulation in Nigeria. Despite orders to mop them up, the situation has worsened.

Politics is meant to be service to the fatherland. But in Nigeria, most of our politicians go into it for selfish reasons. To them, it is a do-or-die affair as they are ready to kill whoever they feel is a stumbling block to their inordinate ambition.

The killing of the Labour Party women leader in Kaduna shows that some people are jittery despite claiming the party has no structure and that Peter Obi will never win.  If Obi will never win, why is he the centre of attacks by opponents? The other day in Delta, it was the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, who said it would be a disgrace for him to mention Obi’s name.

The killing of Mrs. Chintex should not deter the Labour Party and ‘Obi-dients’ from the goal ahead. They should redouble their efforts because in Peter Obi lies the hope of millions of Nigerians. We don’t have any other credible alternative. The other two main parties, the APC and the PDP, and even their standard-bearers, have a lot of baggage to contend with. They don’t have much to offer except hate speech and undue resort to ethnic and religious politics. Their caustic comments help, directly or indirectly, to inspire some of these killings. Unfortunately, though these parties signed peace accord recently, there is nothing peaceful in some of their actions and conduct.

The Labour Party should not abandon the family of Mrs. Chintex who paid the supreme price in the quest to enthrone a credible government in 2023. May her soul and the souls of all the victims of political assassination in Nigeria rest in peace!

Re: Tinubu’s worrisome mumbo jumbo

Asiwaju has repeatedly said (emi lokan) that it is his turn to be Nigeria’s president. It is his constitutional right as a Nigerian to aspire to this ‘most powerful presidential office in the world’. But one is also deeply worried about some of these recurring issues that now tend to shape the trajectory of Asiwaju’s electioneering. Being debate-shy is an issue Abimbola Adelakun of The Punch had similarly raised in her column about Asiwaju. Between 1993 and now is quite a long time for Nigeria to have made the culture of debate to evolve and become a part of our political life. We are still familiar with the excitement that was generated and the lessons learnt via the presidential debate between Chief M.K.O Abiola and Alhaji Uthman Tofa. The debate’s outcome and other issues opened up a true direction for voters to follow. The road to Aso Rock has since remained a cheap and easy process that is devoid of debate and only defined by the power of Dollar and Naira. Sadly enough, aspirants’  recurring issues of uncertainty of academic certificates, unverified records/schools attended and foggy background are what  have also fouled our listening ears and reading eyes. If this culture of debate, as practised in civilized societies is encouraged in Nigeria, political aspirants for councillorship to presidential office would be made to sweat it out in line with the value of the office they intend to occupy.

-Edet Essien Esq. Cal. South, +234 810 809 5633

Casmir, Tinubu’s mental acumen is on the decline! He is battle weary and tired! Rather than rest, he says in a self conceited manner ’emi lo kan’. He is a disaster that must not be allowed to happen by the knowledgeable voting public! Genuine lovers of Nigeria know he doesn’t mean well for us. The ticket is divisive. He should not be allowed to set a bad precedent that would ultimately, not only lead to another M-M ticket in future but also a north-north ticket by 2039! Nigerians should avoid this future calamity now! It is sharply fragmenting us. Casmir, please compare and contrast these presidential candidates: MKO Abiola & Bola Tinubu.  Years: 1993, 2023. Parties: SDP, APC.  Manifestoes: Hope 93, Renewed Hope 2023.  Types of tickets: Muslim-Muslim, Muslim-Muslim. Names of vice-presidential candidates: Babagana ‘K’ingibe, ‘K’ashim Shettima. State of origins of VP candidates: Borno, Borno. Regions of VP candidates: north east, north east. Tribes of VP candidates: Kanuri, Kanuri. I rest my case. Is there anything more to say? No initiatives, no creativity. This is ‘pure dubbing via giraffing’ at its best! To my fellow voters, shall we continue with APC through Tinubu that our suffering may abound (be compounded)? God forbid.

-Mike, Mushin, +2348161114572 

Dear Casmir, politics has age just like every other career. What Tinubu is likely experiencing is stage fright and it’s perhaps as a result of ageing. It’s not late for him to throw in the towel and forget ‘emilokonism’.

– Cletus Frenchman, Enugu, +234 909 538 5215

Good Afternoon Editor, a million thanks for your brilliant and honest piece titled ‘Tinubu’s Worrisome Mumbo Jumbo’. As journalists and civil rights activists, we must ensure that the right person emerges come 2023.

-Comrade James Okoronkwo, +234 809 529 1122

Dear Casy, some of these presidential candidates are drug lords. They are drug addicts whose internal body system has been weakened by consumption of hard drugs for decades right from their youth. President Buhari has failed this country abysmally since 2015, but the worst injury he will inflict on this country is to hand over power to a drug Capone as the next president. Those of them who claim not to have any drug-related crime issue in the past, should travel to USA and spend at least two weeks there in order to disprove the allegation and lay the matter to rest forever.

-Ifeanyi Maduako, Owerri, +234 806 156 2735

Any candidate that refuses to attend national debate should be disqualified from contesting the election. Nigerians want to know what they have in stock if they are elected.

-Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, +234 916 510 7900

Dear Casy, bad governance, undoubtedly, has taken the worst dimension under the present All Poverty Congress (APC) Government wherein the economy, corruption, insecurity of all shades, are ‘dancing naked’ in the market place. Health and education, especially, at tertiary level, have received fatal punches from FG and have, since, been on life-support. In all of the near 8 years of this administration, the arrowhead has been on medical tourism in first grade medical facilities overseas at very great cost to the nation whose economy has been in tatters! To, therefore, hoist another person with frail health condition, as president, on Nigerians, come 2023, who, at this outset, is speaking incoherently, in addition to all the hardships already visited on Nigerians this past 8 years, would amount to overload!

-Steve Okoye, Awka, 08036630731.

  • Also published in the Daily Sun of Monday, December 5, 2022

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