Kinsmen of the murdered Labour Party candidate for Enugu East Senatorial district, Barr. Oyibo Chukwu, on Friday, hinted that the deceased confided in a number of people that his life was under threat.
They made the claims at different press briefings addressed by some leaders of his Amuri community and the immediate members of his family.
Spokesman of his Amuri kinsmen, Dr. Ben Nwoye, who led a delegation to Chukwu’s Enugu residence, called on the Federal Government to intervene in the incessant political killings in the state.
Chukwu was attacked and burnt to death last Wednesday alongside other members of the party at Amaechi Awkunanaw, Enugu, while returning from a campaign rally ahead of the 2023 general election.
Nwoye expressed sadness over the murder of Chukwu, describing him as a great statesman.
He expressed dismay over what he described as conspiracy of silence, recalling that the perpetrators of previous killings in the state were yet to be apprehended.
Nwoye called on the Federal Government and the international community to intervene and stop such shedding of blood in Enugu.
He also called on security agencies to provide security for the family members of the late Chukwu and decried a situation where they had remained exposed.
“Darkness has befallen Enugu State, Amuri and Nigeria, he was a good man, a statesman who served this nation with his whole heart, a former member of the Constituent Assembly. The sin he committed was because he indicated interest to run in an election to serve his people.
“We the people of Amuri Ancient Kingdom are calling on the Enugu State Government, the International Community and the Federal Government to put an end to this.
“We cannot have democracy when you kill people because they want to vote. Amuri people need protection. The family of Oyibo Chukwu needs protection because we don’t know who killed him,” he stated.
Meanwhile, in another location, the immediate family members of the late Chukwu maintained that their brother was a victim of political assassination.
Prof Arthur Chukwu, Head, Department of Professional Ethics and Skills
Nigerian Law School, Yola campus, who spoke on behalf of the family, said they were in deep agony.
He lamented that “our harmless son was not only assassinated, his remains were burnt, together with his vehicle. His well-trusted Personal Assistant, Mr Sunday Igwesi, who was with him in the same vehicle, was also killed and incinerated in the same manner.
“Never in the political history of Enugu State has sacrilege of this magnitude occurred. The level of hate and intolerance that could lead a person to plan and execute this kind of action against innocent persons whose only offence was that they chose to exercise their God-given right of participation in the nation’s electoral process is unimaginable.”
The don said based on credible intelligence available to the family, the late Chukwu “confided in a couple of persons that he was being trailed.
“In fact, in the morning of Wednesday, February 22, 2022, the very day he was killed in the most cowardly manner, he told some persons that he was going to write a petition to the security and intelligence agencies in Enugu State on the plans to eliminate him, so that the agencies could investigate the persons involved and nip their evil plans in the bud.”
He further lamented that the deceased became the assassination target “because of the stupendous popularity of the Labour Party in Enugu State in particular and the rest of the country in general, as well as his stellar credentials.
“Apart from being a political veteran on the national stage, our son, a senior lawyer, led the Nigerian Bar Association in Oji River in its most glorious days from 2017 to 2019.
“His professional colleagues can always testify to his courage, wisdom, tenacity, vision, uncanny organisational skills, and other outstanding leadership attributes. He was coasting home to victory by the time assassins stopped him.
“It was not just Chief Chukwu they stopped, but the entire Enugu East Senatorial Zone whose people have for several years been yearning for effective representation in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and, by extension, good governance.”
Vowing that their brother would not die in vain, the family urged the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Services “to fish out those who planned the assassinations and those who carried them out, as well as their collaborators.
“They must account for their actions both in this life and in the life to come.”
Oyibo’s family commended all those who have rallied round them, including the LP Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, the National Chairman of the party, Barrister Julius Abure, the Enugu State guber candidate of the party, Barr. Chijioke Edeoga, among others.