Kasarachi Azuka, Asaba
Lawrence Ngozi Ijei, an aide to Gov Ifeaby Okowa of Delta State, has been assassinated in Warri, on the eve of the suspended elections. Huge sums of money allegedly given to him for mobilization in the elections in the governor’s hometown, were said to be taken away.
On the other hand, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) escaped assassination. Though the presidential and National Assembly elections slated for Saturday, February 16, 2019, were later postponed, gunmen in Delta State had already gone to work to carry out their own duty – killing.
By Saturday morning, people gathered to witness the results of assassins work. The state governor’s camp seemed to have been devastated by assassination of one of his aides, the special assistant on youth development, Ngozi Lawrence Ijei, on the eve of the postponed presidential/national assembly election.
The deceased aide, popularly called Ngozi, and a heavyweight of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said to be known for his notoriety, was reportedly ambushed and killed on Friday night in Ekpan near Warri, the commercial nerve centre of the state.He was reportedly killed while returning from an outing.
Ekpan is in Uvwie Local Government Area of the state and has been crisis ridden which are said to be both political and cult-related. It was learnt that Ngozi was killed and dispossessed of the amount he had with him.
Silver News gathered from dependable sources that the deceased had collected the money for elections ‘mobilizations’ when the hoodlums ambushed and shot him repeatedly on the chest and head. They were said to have watched him give up the ghost.
It was not clear if the attackers trailed him over the said money but sources said his killers made sure he died before they made away with the money in his possession and then left the scene of the incident.
Contacted, the state’s public relations officer (PPRO), Chuks Orisezie, an assistant superintendent of police (ASP) said the command was already investigating the incident to know whether it was a politically-motivated killing or cult-related one.
On the other hand, protests rocked Ika, the home base of the Governor, as communities in Ika Federal Constituency protest the failed assassination attempt on the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Ika Federal Constituency in the postponed NASS election, Sabastian Okoh.
Both Ngozi’s killing and Okoh’s failed assassination took place on the eve of the postponed election and these became the talks of the town among the electorate who were already feeling disappointed in INEC’s action.
Meanwhile, Governor Okowa has condemned in strong terms the killing of his aide, the said Lawrence Ngozi Ijei by suspected assailants on Friday. The governor in a statement by his chief press secretary, Charles Aniagwu on Saturday in Asaba said the governor was deeply saddened by the untimely death of his aide who was killed by yet to be identified gunmen in Uvwie LGA.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I mourn the death of Mr Lawrence Ngozi Ijei, who was my aide until his untimely demise. I condole with his wife and family and urge security agencies to investigate the unfortunate incidence with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice.
“We have alerted the security agencies of some disturbing security situation in parts of the state and wonder what they are doing because these information have been available to them”.
“We urge Deltans to remain peaceful and maintain the existing peace we have built in the last three and half years,” he added.
Governor Okowa called on the security agencies to dig deep into the unfortunate incident with a view to apprehending those behind the action.