Monday, 20 July 2015


Read full text of PRESS STATEMENT

The leadership of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State hereby wishes to express its deepest sorrow and grief over the death of elder statesman and leader of the party in the state, Chief Atodza Ihindan, who was shot to death by unknown gun-men in Katsina-Ala on Friday, 17th July, 2015.

This act is not only wicked, callous and ungodly, but it is also one of extreme and disgusting cowardice, to shoot an elderly man of over 70 years of age to death in cold-blood, for whatever the reason(s) and this we find utterly reprehensible and do condemn in the strongest terms, without any reservations.

Having said that, the leadership of this party likes to register its worries over the fact that the gruesome murder of Chief Atodza Ihindan adds to the number of killings of PDP members in the state since after the change of government through the electoral process which saw the party assume the status of the opposition party in the state.

We do recall with the gravest of concerns that the party's former chairman in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area, Hon. Zege Igyuve, was shot and killed by unknown gunmen, and the party's Youth Leader in Ushongo Local Government Area, Hon. Ternenge Gbuuga, also met a similar fate. Prior to then, two stalwarts of the party in Kwande, Dege Ayahemba and Tarkighir Agbatse, were shot and killed, while another stalwart of the party, still in Kwande, Hon. Felix Ajiva, died in circumstances which pointed to obvious murder, as he was alleged to have been poisoned.

Our worry as leaders of the party who are vested with the responsibility to safe-guard the well-being and interests of the members of the party stems first from the curious fact that these dastardly acts are being carried out specifically and exclusively against leaders and members of the party in the state. Furthermore, these heinous crimes against our party members have so far gone largely unchecked, as the security agencies have so far not come out with any tangible evidence of arrests and prosecution of the perpetrators of those crimes.

It is our belief that the security agencies have a constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and properties of all citizens, irrespective of their political, religious and sundry affiliations, and it is therefore unacceptable to us as leaders of the PDP that members of our party are being murdered in cold-blooded fashion, while the security agencies seem to have no answers to the situation.

Also, it is our understanding that the new administration in the state, led by the All Progressives Congress (APC), does have a mandate and did swear on oath to protect and defend all citizens of the state by working to provide for them good governance and security of their lives and properties, and this is a mandate and oath which covers members of our party too.

It is therefore our call to the Executive Governor of the state, Dr. Samuel Ioraer Ortom, to take deliberate steps to tackle the prevailing security challenges in the state which appear to be worsening with every killing which goes uncovered, thereby engendering a heightening state of insecurity in the state.

We make this call amidst the state of panic which is beginning to descend on members of our party who can rightly be said to have a genuine reason to fear for their safety, in the face of these killings of their fellow party men, especially as the security agencies appear not to be able to bring the killers to book and stop this ugly trend.

We like to express our deepest condolences to the family of the slain elder statesman, Chief Atodza Ihindan, and do particularly extend our hand of solidarity to the deceased 's son, Hon. Terfa Atodza-Ihindan, who served in the immediate past administration of Dr. Gabriel Suswam as the Commissioner of Commerce and Industries, praying that Almighty God grant them the fortitude to bear this colossal loss. 


Hon. Godwin Ayihe
State Publicity Secretary.

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