“We’re like a sacrificial lamb”, murdered Rivers APC leader lamented days before his killing

Boris Neenwi, the All Progressives Congress stalwart, shot dead recently by unknown gunmen in Rivers, may not have had the foreboding that death was lurking around, but he certainly knew that life was short and brutish, for the APC members in the state – going by the spate of killings in the state.

Mr. Neenwi, an ardent supporter of a former Rivers senator, Magnus Abe, was assassinated at Nonwa Tai, Gokana local government area of the state, two days after celebrating his birthday on October 1.

He was killed alongside one Cecilia Loveday, said to be his girlfriend, and her brother, Nornubari Loveday, and one Manager Nkoba.

The circumstance surrounding the killing is still sketchy.

The police spokesperson in the state, Nnamdi Omoni, told PREMIUM TIMES, last week, that the police was holding back details of the incident, so as not to jeopardize its investigations.

The police said no one has been arrested yet.

On August 30, exactly thirty-three days before he was gun down, Mr. Neenwi wrote on Facebook, “We’re now like a sacrificial lamb. O God where are you?”

His remark highlighted the seeming helplessness of the APC members in the face of constant brutal attacks.

APC accuses the PDP-led state government of being behind the attack, but the government denies having a hand in the attacks.

Mr. Neenwi, in the Facebook post, had accused President Muhammadu Buhari of abandoning the APC members in Rivers to their fate, after they supported him to win the 2015 election. He said it was “criminal” for the president to remain silent over the killings in the state.

When Ken Atsuwete, a popular human rights lawyer and a fierce critic of Governor Nyesom Wike was murdered in August in Port Harcourt by unknown gunmen, Mr. Neenwi posted a dirge on Facebook: “The volume of condemnation and tears poured on your behalf shall beckon on God the Almighty to avenge your brutal murder. You were never silent in the face of injustice.”

The APC Chairman in the state, Davies Ikanya, described the killing of Mr. Neenwi as “senseless”, and said that it must not be swept under the carpet.

Mr. Abe said the late Mr. Neenwi was a hardworking and ambitious young man.

“He was a councilor. After he finished as a councilor, he went back to University of Maiduguri to study law. Despite the challenges in the north east, he persevered until he finished his law programme, and graduated. He came back home very excited, jubilant and expectant, and with big plans for himself and his family, only for him to be cut down at the prime of his life,” the senator said.

“It’s such a terrible thing.

“Whether he was my supporter or not is immaterial, the point is that the man was a citizen of the federal republic of Nigeria, it is the responsibility of the state to protect the lives of all Nigerians, and punish those who willingly and willfully take the life of another.

“What has been happening in Rivers state is that people are taking the lives of others, and nothing is done about it, and that emboldened them to do more. The boys who are doing these killings, there are not up to 30 of them.”

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Cletus Ukpong is PREMIUM TIMES’ assistant editor in charge of Nigeria’s South-South region. He is a graduate of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Twitter: @CletusUkpong

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