HON. SALOME ACHEJU ABUH, PEOPLE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WOMAN LEADER (“BURNT ALIVE”) AND THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR HOMES AND PROPERTIES ON MONDAY 18TH NOVEMBER 2019 AT OCHADAMU, OFU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, KOGI STATE, AS A RESULT OF THE NOVEMBER 2019 GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION
My wife was our mother, a grass root politician, mobilizer and community leader of a repute. She was an outstanding Woman Leader for the PDP in Kogi State, since the early years of her political career. She had her first elective position as an Honorable Councilor in Ofu Local Government Council of the State, between 2003-2007, contested for Idah Federal Constituency for the House of Representatives in 2007 and was the only woman among the Contestants.
She was a Special Assistant on Grass Root Matters to H. E. Capt. Idris Wada, the then Executive Governor of Kogi State. She also contested in the 2018 general elections for the State House of Assembly under the PDP platform and remained faithfully committed to the Party which earned her a position in Wada/Aro Campaign Organisation. Earlier, she brought Integrated Support for Obasanjo (ISO), and faithfully campaigned for Obasanjo/Atiku; Yar’adua/Jonathan; Jonathan/Sambo and Atiku/Obi Presidential Tickets respectively, for Kogi State, in particular.
My wife staked her neck for the Party, delivered her Local Government Area in the midst of political tigers and lions in almost all elections – State and National, including that of the Kogi State Governorship election of 16th November, 2019. Her doggedness, forthrightness and achievements could not be tolerated resulting to her being marked for that abomination, a cruel act – “burnt alive” maliciously in her own matrimonial house, a cruel death on “active political service to our fatherland”. be better imagined than to be real!
We are here, One year down the line, to hold a small memorial in her honour and to use this opportunity to thank everybody, her Party, PDP, her well-wishers, families and friends all over the world.
My late wife, aged 60, on 17th November 2019, a mother of 4 graduates, a grandmother of 6, with aged mother and 8 siblings, was a devout Christian, a lover of peace who hated anything violence and evil, but go for results, – “deliver your area”, and service to humanity, until she was unknown to us, marked for this cruel acts for delivering her Local Government Area, Ofu to her Party, PDP, in an APC Local Government where an APC Honourable Member of House Representatives and the State House of Assembly member, comes from, with the Council Chairman being an APC.
Actions so far:
I petitioned to His Excellency, President Muhammudu Buhari, GFCR, copied Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs. Aisha Buhari, Wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (a woman), the Senate President, the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Inspector General of the Police, Hon. Minister of Women Affairs, (a Woman), Hon. Minister of Humanitarian & Disaster Management Affairs, (a Woman), Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, among others, appealing for justice to prevail over this cruel murder of my wife and loss of our homes and properties. We had a very simple prayers – His Excellency, Mr. President should:
- graciously ensure a sincere and comprehensive investigation with a view to ensuring that justice prevails, no matter who may be involved, including the sponsors of this dastardly acts;
- treat our homelessness as an emergency; by resettling; and reconstruction of our burnt down houses and those of key PDP members houses in Ochadamu. and
- Compensate us for our losses, to justify her rights to
“Life and Association”;
I wish to say that up till today we are still waiting.
We have however, instructed our Lawyers led by Barrister D. D. Makolo, Ph.D, who has instituted a suit at the ECOWAS Court of Justice, against the Federal Government of Nigeria for the failure of the Government to provide adequate security for us in the face of the treats during the November 2019 governorship elections in kogi State, particularly, in Ofu Local Government of that State. For, if the Federal Government and her agencies responsible to provide security during a period like this, had ensured adequate security of lives and property, especially during the elections/political activities, our family and others affected, would not have been in the agonizing position which we are, right now. My loving wife and mother of my home and children will still have been here with us. Her right to life was not protected in accordance with the dictates of our constitution.
November 16th 2019 Election Day Incidence
On Saturday 16th November 2019, my wife and I headed to our Voting Unit, (Ochadamu Primary School Polling Unit), upon sighting us, a group of young APC boys led by Ocholi Edicha among whom was Zekeri Awalu and a host of others, accosted us chanting GYB 4+4, and that the Polling Unit was already delivered to APC. Ocholi Edicha, boasted that he was going to deal with my younger brother, Gowon Abuh, who is always a PDP Agent at that Polling Unit, asking whether we don’t know that he (Ocholi Edicha) and his boys were on the payroll of GYB 4+4? Zekeri Awalu also stated that they had the backing of the Agenyi (Musa Etu, a Beaded Chief, who claims the ownershipof Ochadamu), even though with an Appeal at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, over the issue.
I politely told them that there was no need for such threats as we are all brothers, who drank from the same flowing river, with common playing ground in the community and we shall still remain in the same community, politics notwithstanding. Zekeri Awalu added that, if not because of the respect they have for some of us as elders and our contributions to the community, they would have delivered Agenyi’s message to us during this election. Ocholi Edicha interjected by saying that the election is for the APC and there was nothing that anyone could do about it as heads were marked to roll with the Agenyi and GYB 4+4 backing them.
I took such to be one such idle talks so, we headed to our voting point after the threats by these young men. I casted my vote and went home, leaving my wife behind to watch the voting process being a Party leader. As I took my leave, I heard Shaibu Baba Odoma, one of the APC Stalwarts, telling Ocholi and his group that in the Unit, anybody could be brought down, no matter who, that this government belongs them, let heads roll but deliver the Unit. I left there with mixed-feelings.
While resting in company of our other friends under a tree shade at home, my brother Gowon Abuh (a PDP Agent) ran back to inform us that one of the young men with whom I had earlier conversation, Ocholi Edicha was assaulting my wife and while he tried to intervene, Ocholi Edicha attempted to stab him and he had to run back home. As he was still narrating, a family friend brought my wife on his motorcycle to our compound and advised that we rush her to the hospital. I took her to the Holy Memorial Hospital, Ochadamu where she was attended to by the Doctor on duty, and advised her to take a rest as a result of the trauma from the attack.
When we returned from the Hospital my wife told me that she did not know how she offended Iyawo Baba Odoma (Shaibu Baba Odoma’s mother), that it was after she pointed at her about three times, as if she was instructing these boys, that Ocholi and his friends came on her. I noted it and prayed with her then returned to Abuja where we reside, leaving my wife behind to take a rest for a few days as advised by the Doctor.
ON MONDAY 18TH NOVEMBER 2019
On Monday 18th November 2019, I received a call at about noon that there was trouble at home. That Ocholi Edicha and some of his boys were in a drinking joint, close to our house and boasting of how they were going to deal with some key PDP leaders starting from Gowon and the Woman Leader who narrowly escaped from their attack on Saturday, 16th November 2019. According to the information, Solomon, Gowon’s son, sent by his father after they both just returned from the farm, to buy something from the shop, overheard them threatening and he then pleaded with them to forget any hurtful matters as the elections had come and gone. At this point, Zekeri Awalu, and APC thug, picked up a bottle and pursued Solomon to hit him. While pursuing him, he (Zekeri), missed his steps and fell, on the knife (weapon), strapped to his own waist, and got injured on the thigh/lap, while Solomon outran him, (Zekeri Awalu). Meanwhile, Zekeri Awalu’s injury made his friends to rush him to the Holy Memorial Hospital, Ochadamu for treatment.
After this information, I immediately put a call home to one Ojonugwa Alhassan and Omika Egbunu Ayoni who are both indigenes and resident in Ochadamu, to inquire about the incidence, they told me that they were at the Hospital where the injured person was being attended to. They also informed me that first aid treatment had been administered and that the Hospital requested for a Police Report before further treatment could be given. While the Doctors were waiting for the Police Report, the friends of the injured got agitated and moved him to another Hospital where he lost his life while being attended to, according to the information I gathered.
At this point, I was made to understand that the APC thugs, invited to Ochadamu by Shaibu Baba Odoma, chanting GYB 4+4, and shooting sporadically in the air while moving towards our house, where my wife was resting unaware of all the happenings. These boys surrounded the house, defied pleads and cries from my wife, shooting sporadically and set the houses on fire, burnt my wife alive and completely burnt down, 4 houses on our compound: 5-bedroom (fully furnished), 4-bedroom (fully furnished), and 2No 2-bedrooms (fully furnished) with the 5th house, made inhabitable, accomplishing their mission planned on Saturday, 16th November, unknown to this peace loving woman.
After that, these thugs headed to four other families, up to half a kilometer and kilometer away from our house, in the community, who are known key PDP stakeholders, looted and burnt down their own houses too. It is important to add that these gunmen are known, unmasked, we know their houses and their parents. The Police has their names.
I wish to put on record that the attack on my wife on Saturday 16th November, was a premeditated one and carried out on Monday 18th November 2019 when my wife was resting in our family house. Let me make it clear that it was NOT any case of retaliatory or reprisal attack as was insinuated by some powers that be, relying on mis-information.
I wish to use this opportunity to once again, passionately appeal to the United Nations, European Union, United States Agency for International Development, United Kingdom Agency for International Development, British High Commission, African Union, Economic Community of West African States, Human Rights Organisations (Local and International), PDP Governors and PDP as a Party, (for whose cause, she paid this supreme price), Corporate/Humanitarian Organisations and spirited individuals note our homelessness and the agonizing situation which we are right now to come to our aid, to enable us own dream home again, and to kindly impress, on Mr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H. E. President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to address our prayers above, including:
- treat our homelessness as an emergency and rebuild our burnt down houses;
- adequately compensate us (4 children – all graduates: One M.Sc., One M.Sc student, One B.Tech. Maths/Computer and One B. Tech. Quantity Surveyor and me, the husband), for the gruesome murder of my wife, by these known/unmasked APC Thugs on 18thNovember, 2019,
- ensure that the perpetrators including their sponsors, are brought to book to serve as deterrent to avert future occurrence, not just in the Kogi State, but in Nigeria at large;
- immortalizeher name as a Political Celebrity who paid a supreme price for sustenance of Democracy in Nigeria, judging by the cruel manner by which she was murdered (“Burnt Alive”) by Political Party Thugs in her own house) and the burning down of family house;
- impresson the Wife of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, H. E. Dr. Aisha Buhari in company of Governors Wives and notable Female Politicians to show concern for the “Burnt Alive” of a “fellow Woman Politician” for being faithful to her Party, in a country where Women are said to have a voice and calling for several affirmatives in respect of Nigeria Women.
In conclusion, we wish to call on all, to support/subscribe to the Foundation being unveil today, in her honour, by the family to reflect her believe, struggle and the cause for which she paid this Supreme Price in Nigeria.
Thank you all, as you continue to stand by us in the struggle for justice, in this regard, while drawing your attentions to our homelessness and agonizing situation right now.
Once again, we thank everybody for your prayers and support too numerous to mention one by one.
Eld. Simeon Babani Seidu Abuh, JP,
for: the Family
18th November, 2020
At Event Centre, Chida International Hotel, Utako, Abuja