Nigeria, a great country, giant of Africa, and the most populous black race country in Africa, blessed with natural resources, human intelligence, industrious citizens, diverse ethnicity, culture and religion, and also free from natural disasters. However, we tend to create disasters for ourselves.
Nigeria is a country where the citizens are ready to serve their fatherland, irrespective of the challenges they face. We must say a prayer everyday of our lives, for our founding fathers that fought for the independence of this great country, Nigeria.
Nigeria blessed beyond measures, has a dark cloud hovering over its greatness. We were born great, we grew in greatness, and we will reach the height of greatness very soon, but we cannot achieve greatness with so much grief, fear, anger, and bitterness in the country, over unresolved issues which have been lingering far too long.
These issues do not need any further introduction, because they hunt us as a country everyday; they are the unresolved top murder cases in Nigeria.
We live in a country where human lives and properties do not matter a lot to the government, which the primary purpose of any government is the protection of lives and properties. In modern civilization, all men irrespective of anything you have become, are equal before the law and no matter how powerful or connected you are, the law is strong enough to catch up with the culprits; but the reverse is the case in Nigeria.
The premeditated killings, be it political, ethnic or herdsmen-farmers clashes, have remained unresolved, and the inability of the system to dispense justice without fear, has contributed in no small measure in lowering Nigeria’s prestige in the eyes of other nations of the world.
As a country, it has left us vulnerable at the mercy of the high and mighty. This situation has left children orphans, women widows, and men widowers. It very painful how promising lives are been cut short at their prime age.
Some of these unresolved murder cases can be traced as far back as during the Military regime. It is on record that from 1985 till date, successive governments with its police, security agencies and judicial system, have failed to bring to book killers of murder victims. It is either innocent victims are been accused, or we keep hearing stories of how the security agencies are working day and night to bring to book the culprits, and after a while the story dies down.
October 1986, is a day Nigerians would never forget in history. On that fateful Sunday, we were greeted with the shock of the first ever letter bomb attack that killed Dele Giwa, the Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch Magazine, which some alleged carried the Nigerian Coat of Arm. Case Closed!
In 1990, Colonel Odeleke, according to official reports, was mysteriously killed by a hit and run car in Abuja, and his family was not allowed to carry out a postmortem, to ascertain the true cause of his death, and that was the end of the case.
In March 1990, Colonel Dan Archibong, the Military Governor of Cross Rivers State, died in a ghastly motor accident returning to his State, after meeting with the then Military Dictator, President Ibrahim Babangida, at Dodan barracks, Lagos. Miraculously he died alone, no other vehicle was involved and no witnesses. Another cased closed!
In June 1994, Rear Admiral Babatunde Elegbede, Chief of Nigeria’s Defence Intelligence Agency, from July 1986 to January 1990, was used as testing equipment for higher killers, as he was the first victim to fall by assassin’s bullet under the regime of the late Sani Abacha. The most painful of all, was that he was killed right in the presence of his wife. They were labeled armed robbers, and case was closed.
In October 1995, Chief Alfred Rewane, a Businessman and a close associate of Obafemi Awolowo, was murdered in his residence, in Ikeja, Lagos State. The rest was history!
In November 1995, James Bagauda Kalto, a Journalist and a Writer with Tell and Tempo, was killed. He was believed to be one of the many victims of Gen. Sani Abacha’s brutal rule, allegedly.
Akin Omotsola, former Security Officer of Nigeria Airport Authority, died of a car bomb planted in his car.
Alhaja Suliat Adedeji, a strong politician from Ibadan, was gunned down in 1996 at her residence, by assassins that the Police could not locate till this day. Both cases have been closed and long forgotten.
In June 1996, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, was assassinated on her way to the Canadian High Commission, while her husband was been detained by Nigerian Government.
During the regime of late Sani Abacha, we lost a lot of people, and the culprits were not brought to book; and it was not a surprise that in June 1998, when the nation heard of the sudden death of General Sani Abacha. Despite the various narratives and speculations as to the cause of the untimely death of the Military Ruler, the real cause of his death, still remains aloof.
Major-General Tunde Idiagbon, Architect Layi Balogun, former Presidential aspirant, and Air Commodore, Anthony Ikhazobo, former Minister and NFA Chairman, were all killed and their killers roaming freely.
During the civilian regime under former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, we recorded the most unresolved murder cases in the country. It ushered in the list of the most political assassinations that ever happened in Nigeria. The list is unending.
In December 2001, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige, during President Obasanjo’s administration, was shot dead, shortly after arriving his residence at Bodija, Ibadan, from Lagos. The case keeps getting hot and cold from time to time, with no concrete resolution.
In 2002, Barnabas Igwe, Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (Onitsha branch), and his wife, Abigail, were victims of rampant killings.
In 2003, Uche Orji, a Senatorial candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, was killed in the wake of the elections. That same year, Chief Harry Marshall, the National Vice-Chairman of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and Muhammadu Buhari’s Presidential Campaign Coordinator, was brutally murdered during the Presidential election.
In February 2004, Aminosari Dikibo, a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Vice-Chairman, was not spared, as he was murdered.
In August 2005, Peter Eboigbe, a PDP chieftain, was killed in Benin City, by suspected assassins.
In July 2006, the assassination of Funsho Williams, a PDP Governorship aspirant of Lagos State, was not only the talk of Lagos, but the whole country.
These cases have been galling, because of the shoddy ways the security agencies often deliberately muddle up the investigations and trials. The identities of the killers are yet to be known by the Police.
In 2006, Ayo Daramola, a former World Bank Consultant and PDP Governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, was murdered. The Police is still on the case.
These murders cut across the country, and no State is exempted from them. It is so sad that no day goes by without someone being a victim.
In November 2009, Charles Nsiegbe, a Political Associate of Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, was murdered in Port Harcourt. Nothing came out from the investigations.
In January 2010, Dipo Dina, the Action Congress, AC, Governorship candidate for Ogun State, in 2007, was shot and killed by assassins. The killers are still unknown.
In 2011, Theodore Agwatu, Principal Secretary to the Imo State Governor, lost his life in his home to unknown gunmen; and close to April elections Foji Biu, who was the ANPP Governorship candidate in Borno State, was murdered in cold blood.
The list cannot be exhausted, and these are some of the known cases that we know of, because of their significance in the society. We hear of cases of people killed everyday unjustly. If the government cannot protect its own people serving them, then the citizens do not have such protection. Not only do we have political assassinations, we have the terrorists’ attacks that are denting the image of the country. We have lost a quite number of our citizens due to these terrorists’ attacks, and the government keeps apportioning blame to the past administration.