On the 14th anniversary of the assassination of a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Bola Ige (SAN), some eminent Nigerians have tasked the federal government on the need to resolve the mystery surrounding the Afenifere chieftain’s murder.
Ige was shot dead by suspected assassins in his Ibadan residence on December 23, 2001 and his death has yet to be resolved.
Wednesday marked the 14th anniversary of the assassination of Chief Bola Ige, whose death was one of the high profile political murders during the civilian administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Speaking in an interview with The PUNCH yesterday, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, described as a “national shame”, the unresolved murder of Ige.
“I am sad that Ige’s killers have yet to be found. He was the Minister of Justice and up till today his death has yet to be resolved. The Federal Government should intensify efforts at resolving the mysteries behind this murder and, most importantly, bring the murderers to book. This is the only way we can forestall further political murders.
“Ige’s case reminds me of my recent abduction, which is an affront to the nation. I mean for somebody of my pedigree to be picked up like a goat and taken to an unknown bush, is an affront to the nation”.
The former SGF and presidential candidate of the Alliance for Democracy in the 1999 presidential election, urged the federal government to concentrate on improving intelligence and build public trust that would encourage citizens to give information to the police.
He also urged government to invest in security.
He added, “The heart of national security is intelligence. The Federal Government should really focus on this because not only will this enable crimes to be resolved, security agencies can anticipate crimes and forestall them.
“Secondly, the security forces should cultivate public trust. Many people with the right information about crimes are afraid of talking because when you report to the police, you are arrested. In the United Kingdom, when somebody commits a crime on the street, there is someone looking through the window who would call the police immediately. Such a citizen sees it as a civic responsibility but in Nigeria, the story is different”.
Speaking in the same vein, second republic governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to be radical in resolving political murders in Nigeria.
Musa said most political crimes in Nigeria were unresolved because of stiff political competition, corruption and because some government officials were involved in the murder.
He said, “We need a political radical to get to the roots of these mindless killings. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s image was enhanced by the late Ige. Ige was killed during Obasanjo’s tenure yet Obasanjo’s administration didn’t resolve the killing. So, Buhari needs to be a political radical. But is he really a political radical? That is my grouse with Buhari”.
The national chairman of the defunct Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, also asked Buhari to be resolute in resolving political murders in the country.
The elder statesman insisted that political murders remained unsolved because politics had become a very attractive source to attain ill-gotten wealth.
“Political murders would not be resolved because political competition is stiff. Another factor is the high level of corruption and the fact that some top government officials were involved in those crimes. When government is involved in these crimes, it will be very difficult to resolve them”, he said.