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2 Years after, late Salome Abuh’s husband indicts police

*Appeals for donation towards rebuilding burnt houses as PDP Governors donated N10m
*Charges Aisha Buhari, first ladies to defend women against political violence

Tunde Opalana, Abuja

As family members, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts and associates of the slain former PDP Women Leader in Kogi State, Salome Abuh gathered to mark the second anniversary of her death, her husband, Elder Simeon Abuh indicted police of shoddy handling of the case.

He said this in his address at the memorial ceremony, fund raising to rebuild the burnt family houses and formal launch of the Salome Acheju Abuh Foundation held at the Chida Hotel,Abuja.

The 60 years old political mobilizer was burnt alive by political thugs that destroyed her homes and properties on Monday 18th November, 2019 at Ochadamu, Ofu Local Government of Kogi State aftermath of the November 2019 governorship election.

Elder Abuh alleged that the police failed to prosecute all perpetrators of the heinous crime but arraigned just one person out of the six arrested.

He said “the court judgment delivered at the High Court of Justice, Idah, Kogi State on the 23rd March 2021, where only one person , Ocholl Edicha was arraigned and found guilty of five count charges with regard to the burnt e of my late wife, and burning down of our four (4) fully furnished houses (not huts/tents); including looted/burnt down of some other PDP stakeholders houses in the community, for which he is to serve twelve and a half years jail term, has also been in the pubic domain”.

The widower went further to raise posers saying “is it possible for one person to commit such magnitude of destructions of life and properties in our compound and other key PDP stakeholders houses in the community within such a few hours?

“Kogi State Police Command paraded six boys, including Ocholi Edicha who were said to have confessed to the crime. Surprisingly, five were charged for armed robbery and only Ocholi Edicha became the murderer and arsonist. Police is OUR Friend, Police is THEIR Friend.

“Why were the others named not arrested and prosecuted? Police is our Friend… The Court is not Father Christmas. The Court acted according to
The information from our Friends, “the Nigerian Police”, perhaps”.

In an emotion ladened voice, Abuh appealed to people of goodwill, corporate and humanitarian organisations to come to the aid of the family to enable them own dream home after the destruction of the family home in inferno.

The requested house ranges from N50m for a 5 bedroom house, N45m for a 4 bedroom house to N40m for a 2 bedroom house, which will cover, land clearing, building, fence plus gate house, furniture & fittings and

He said ” the continuous living in the internally displaced persons (IDP) situation of our people and others affected in Ochadamu community and silence of the powers that be, since the past two years, remain worrisome.

“We are here, two year down the line, to hold a memorial/fundraising in her honour and to use this opportunity to make passionate appeal to deliberately consider our homelessness as an emergency to enable us own dream home again”.

Charging women in public glare to condemn violence against women, he said “Wife of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Dr. Aisha Buhari, Governors Wives and notable female politicians/ voters should note that in 2019, it was Hon.Salome Acheju Abuh who was “burnt alive” for her political bravery, doggedness and result oriented whose supreme prize she paid for democracy, may be as a “nobody”, in a country where women are said to have a voice and calling for several affirmatives in respect of Nigerian women , but tomorrow, it could be another woman who is somebody and purposeful, but then time shall tell, as here comes 2023 or other elections before then”.

The governors of the PDP rose yo the occasion by making a N10 million donation towards building a beffiting house for the family with a promise of further donation in future.

Represented by the Director General of the PDP Governors Forum,Hon. Cyril Maduabum, the governors assured Nigerians of installing a people oriented central government with leaders who will not promote violence.

The PDP governors blamed the dastardly killing of Salome Abuh and other impunity in the country on lack of serious response by the government in power to tackle impunity.

Maduabum said “it is because of impunity that we have rampant corruption, because you can do anything and get away with it. Impunity has led to massive bloodshed on a daily bases in Nigeria. People are killed wantonly, people are killed whimsically.

“Impunity leads to all sorts of things. Her blood cries to heaven for vengeance because the mastermind has not been brought to book. Those who promoted the atmosphere of violence, those who think that they are God on earth and can do anything they like and get away with it, they have not been brought to book. And that is why the country is where it is today.

“If the death of Salome has been taken care of, if the masterminds have been taken care of, if those who promoted ‘tatata’ in Kogi have been been taken care of.That is why we have rampant kidnapping, that is why we have rampant banditry, terrorism, the country is no doubt a failed state under the current government of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. The bucks stops at the table of the President.

The PDP governors bemoaned centralization of policing in the country as a factor hindering checkmating crime.

“Yes we have state governors who can do their bit, but the security architecture is such that governors are powerless to act. You cannot command a DPO as a governor, they will tell you that they have to talk to their commissioners of Police, if you talk to the Commissioner of Police, he will tell you that he will get permission from IG.

“From that they will say that they will get permission from the Minister of Police Affairs or the President. Before you finish, crimes have already been committed.

“The PDP governors have repeatedly called for the rejigging of the security architecture of the country in such a way that policing can be decentralized. But of course, there must be proper safeguards because if you have some governors that promote violence, then it is also very dangerous to leave such security in their hands. We believe that there should be proper checks and balances to ensure that security prevails in Nigeria”, said the DG.

Former governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris who donated a half a million naira said it is unbelievable that a human life will be taken for political gains.

He however said “but for whatever it is, I believe that God will never forgive the perpetrators”.

The newly elected PDP National Women Leader, Prof. Stella Attoe represented by Mrs Helen Adebakin said the brutal murder of Salome is a national disaster while demanding the late Abuh be immortalized.

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