On Saturday June 4, 2022, Mr. Zakari Umaru-Kigbu, a former Federal Commissioner with the National Population Commission in Nassarawa State was shot dead before his family members in the Azuba Bashayi, Lafia North Development Area in Lafia Local Government Area of the State by suspected assasins. He was also a campaign agent to Mr. Labaran Makua former Minister of Information and ex-governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Nasarawa State.
With the 2023 general elections well around the corner, it appears Nigeria`s premier political assassins are cleaning up their guns and rehearshing their rusty killing routines which have been dormant since the 2019 general elections ushered in even more turmoil for Nigeria at the hands of bad leadership.
Across the country, with different contestants fighting tooth and nail in their bid to ascend to power from where they can cast condescending looks on Nigerians, there is no limits to what some can do to get power.
Nigeria`s difficult history with democratic elections has repeatedly shown that politically motivated assassinations herald election seasons as contestants who are prepared to fight dirty do whatever they feel to get power. It is usually no longer enough to assassinate character. In many instances, the opponent has to join his ancestors, or someone of strategic importance to such an opponent has to be mowed down. It has become a firm feature of electoral contests in Nigeria.
For instance, in the run up to the 2007 Governorship elections in Lagos State, frontline candidate Funsho Williams who was in pole position to emerge as governor was found bound, strangled and stabbed. His assassins have never been found.
It loudly tells the story of Nigeria`s criminal justice system that those who assassinate others here are hardly ever found or convicted for their iniquitous crimes. That they do these things, retreat into the shadows and emerge only to repeat their crimes tell of just how cheap life has become in Nigeria.
According to Mr. Maku, while the gunmen who murdered Mr. Zakari tried to break into his house, some of his neighbours went to report at the police station in the area. On noticing that the criminals were armed to the teeth and were in no mood for any jokes, the two personnel sent from the police station with only one gun between them beat a hasty retreat.
It was just the next morning that terrorists swooped down on a catholic church in Owo, Ondo State and mauled down about fifty worshippers. In a country where citizens have practically been left to their own devices with ruthless killers lurking, who will come to the rescue?
Of course, for a long time, suspicion has swelled and swirled that institutionalized corruption has reduced Nigeria`s security agencies to neutered bulldogs. In a country where it increasingly appears there is a terrorist, or a terrorist collaborator in every neighbourhood, the danger is real and present for many.
Innocent blood continues to be spilled in Nigeria with very little consequences for those who do so. The perpetrators are hardly ever brought to book. The gravity of the situation is graphically expressed by the fact that many Nigerians are now so used to death that all it ever draws from them these days is a shake of the head or a shrug.
The trauma of having a loved one gruesomely murdered before one
s eyes in such cold blood is better imagined. Mr. Zakaris family members have joined many Nigerians who have had to witness this and unless something decisive is done very soon, many more will join the ever-growing list.
That Nigerians are killed every day shows that those charged with protecting lives and properties in Nigeria are either derelict of their duties or worse, complicit in the chilling crimes being committed against Nigerians.