Gunmen suspected to be hired assassins on Saturday attacked the special adviser to Benue State governor on media and public affairs, Dr. Cletus Akwaya. They pumped bullets into his head.
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The development came just as Governor Gabriel Suswam described the attack on Akwaya as politically motivated.
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LEADERSHIP gathered that the armed men numbering four had, at about 9pm blocked Akwaya at a restaurant behind the NNPC mega petrol station in Makurdi.
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Akwaya, who spoke to journalists at the emergency ward of the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, disclosed that he had gone to the restaurant after a meeting with some of his political associates when two young men suddenly approached him.
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He said: “I thought they wanted to exchange pleasantries with me but suddenly, they brought out guns and said they had come to kill me. I responded, ‘you won’t kill me. Please, don’t kill me’.
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“Suddenly, two others joined them and they continued to attack me while I tried to defend myself. By this time, everybody around had ran into hiding, leaving only me with the bad boys. They shot me six times in the head and picked firewood from the restaurant to further attack me and left me in the pool of my blood.’’
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Akwaya, who is thankful to God that he is alive to tell the story, said they actually meant to kill him because they did not take anything from him or from anybody.
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“My car keys and all my handsets were on the table but they did not touch them. In fact, they told me that they had come to kill me.”
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The police public relations officer (PPRO), Alaribe Ejike (ASP), when contacted, said he was yet to be officially briefed on the matter and that the unofficial information at his disposal at the time of this report on the matter was very sketchy.
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Commenting on the matter, Benue State deputy governor, Steven Lawani, who visited the hospital condemned in totality the dastardly act and said it was not healthy especially now that the state was faced with enormous political challenges.
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But Suswam, in a telephone conversation with LEADERSHIP, said the the attempt to assassinate Akwaya was another plan of the Action Congress of Nigerian (ACN) to intimidate his government and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
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Urging the security agencies in the country to quickly investigate the case and bring those connected to it to justice, Suswam stated that none of the attempts by the opposition would deter him and his administration.
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He said: “The security report before me has proved that the shooting was from the ACN and I want to be quoted directly that I said it was the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) that masterminded the attempt to murder Cletus Akawaya, and this is out of it. I will make sure that the case is thoroughly investigated and all the people behind it will soon be apprehended and charged to court so it can serve as a lesson for others that may be having such intention to just think? of killing a fellow human being because of politics.”