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PITY! Wife, kids wail as council boss is gunned down in Abuja

Posted by By FRANCIS AWOWOLE-BROWNE, Abuja on 2008/02/04 | Views: 731 |

PITY! Wife, kids wail as council boss is gunned down in Abuja

If only tears could revive the dead, Samuel Gwamna would have risen from the morgue. Teeth-gnashing men shook their heads as they sighed repeatedly, while women wept rather inconsolably. Family members and friends also wailed on end, as though the dead could come back to life.

If only tears could revive the dead, Samuel Gwamna would have risen from the morgue. Teeth-gnashing men shook their heads as they sighed repeatedly, while women wept rather inconsolably. Family members and friends also wailed on end, as though the dead could come back to life.

Sadly, no degree of grieving could restore life to the chairman of Kwali Area Council, Abuja. He was gone, translated into the world beyond.

Gwamna's death in the hands of suspected assassins last week, ran contrary to a recent assurance from the FCT Minister, Dr. Modibbo Aliyu Umar, that his administration was set to guarantee maximum security for the residents. It would seem that as the minister was beating his chest for having devised fool-proof measures to make Abuja a safe haven, so were the hoodlums striking with equal valour.

First, it was the Nigeria Football League accountant that was mowed down in broad daylight by gunmen suspected to be armed robbers, who accosted him as he was coming out of a bank in the heart of the city in Wuse Zone 4. He was shot dead on the spot and the criminals made away with N5 million he had gone to withdraw. The following week, it was the turn of an assistant director in the Federal Capital Development Authority, (FCDA). The bullets of the criminals also felled him.

While the minister was threatening fire and brimstone, that the Assistant Director’s assailants would be brought to book, suspected assassins last week surfaced again, pumping bullets into Gwamna and two others in his car. He was attacked in his official car while trying to connect the Lokoja-Abuja Expressway after closing from the Kwali Council Secretariat. He died on the spot while the other two persons, his orderly, Ilyasu Usman and driver, Jibril, caught in the hails of bullet, suffered serious gun wounds and are on danger list in a hospital within the city.

The FCT Ministers was said to have been deflated by the incidence. In fact, the Minister of State in the Federal Capital Territory, Senator John James Akpanoudoedehe described the development as 'a dirty slap' on the face of the administration. Sunday Sun gathered that the council chairman who was very popular among his other four colleagues in other area councils, was said to have worked late in the office and was on his way home that ill-fated night.

Sources disclosed that he was speaking with his wife, Margaret, on phone when suddenly the gang blocked his car and rained bullets on him. Fifty pellets were said to have been removed from his body at the hospital where he was later confirmed dead. Sadly, the late Gwamna had earlier that Monday, it was learnt, packed out of his personal residence in Zone 5, which he bought, to allow for renovation, as he moved to another of his houses on 30, Cairo street Wuse 2, pending the completion of renovation work.
At the residence of the late council boss, it was wailing by wife, children and relations who were still dazed by the incidence. Sympathizers were seen milling around and condoling with the family.

None of the family members volunteered information. Sunday Sun gathered that they were under police instruction not to talk to anyone about the deceased. However, first son of the late politician, James Gwamna, an undergraduate student of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria told Sunday Sun that his father could not hurt a fly and wondered what the killers wanted to gain from his dying. According to him, his late father was a devout Christian who worshipped at ECWA Church.

FCT minister reacts
Before the latest strike by the hoodlums, the FCT Minister had held series of meeting with governors of the federal capital’s neighbouring states of Niger, Nassarawa, kogi and Kaduna States. The meeting, which reportedly centred on social security in the federal capital, also had in attendance, the police commissioners of these states.

He was, therefore, jolted when news filtered out that the Area Council boss had been killed by unknown gunmen.
Dr. Modibbo, who quickly dispatched emissary to the bereaved, vowed that no stone would be left unturned to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous crime, as the FCT Administration owes the residents of the territory a duty to identify and arrest the criminals.
His words: “We owe it a duty to the nation to apprehend and prosecute the culprits because justice must be done and must be seen done, to serve as deterrent to others who may think of following the same path.” According to him, “no headway yet but I am very confident that the perpetrators will definitely be apprehended, because apprehending them is what we owe this nation.”

Akpanudoedehe, who also paid condolence visit to the home of the late politician in company of the five council chairmen in Abuja, regretted the incident. He described late Gwamna as a hard working chairman. He later held a close-door meeting with the council chairmen on the incident. The minister disclosed that the late politician would be given a state burial. To this effect, a committee has been inaugurated to plan the said state burial. It is headed by Mr. Zephaniah Jisalo, Chairman, FCT Chapter of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council.

Immediately after the sad incident, the Police concluded that it was a clear case of assassination because, nothing was taken from the victims. They
later disclosed that they have apprehended some persons in connection with the assassination, but would not say the number arrested. FCT Police
Commissioner, Haruna John, said his colleagues in the neighbouring states had been placed on the alert.

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