ACN Top Politician’s Mother, Brother Found Dead in Locked Bungalow
Another controversy is brewing in Akwa Ibom State over the death of the mother and brother of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain, Mr. Francis Effanga.
The party’s topshot, who is a lawyer, lost the duo last weekend in a mysterious manner. They were found dead in a locked up bungalow in Mbikpana Atan, Ibiono, a sleepy community, some 15 minutes drive from Uyo, the state capital.
Both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)–led state government and the ACN are trading words over the murder especially coming about 18months when there was mayhem prior to last year’s general elections. Property worth billions of Naira were destroyed when PDP and ACN supporters clashed.
The question on the lips of the residents is: Who or what could have murdered a grandmother and her son whose bodies were found days after a curious search by worried children of the deceased?
Madam Erasmus Effanga, a widow, who normally lived alone in a new bungalow built for her by the children, was said to have been called out of the church by her son, Basil (now dead), who arrived home last Thursday. He was told his mother was in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, a few metres from their house.
According to her neighbour, Linus Vincent, when Basil arrived and was told the mother was in the church and a kid was asked to call the woman, Basil offered to go and call the grandmother himself, making Madam Effanga to cut short the choir practice.
“Since that day, we never saw her again. One of the sons even came the next Friday and sat on the veranda as the protectors to the house were locked. It was the same persons who came on Sunday morning to inform us that he had seen, through the window, a body inside their house..”
The neighbour’s husband, Mr. Vincent, a retired soldier, corroborated the wife, stressing that since the mother and son went into the house and locked the gate, they never went out till they were confirmed dead.
“If they had gone out, I would have known because I always sit here and know when Madam goes out or comes in”, he said.
The head of the community, Chief Linus Effiong Okon, while expressing shock at the death of the duo, told Daily Sun, “such a thing had never happened in this community since I was born.”
Though he said he witnessed the evacuation of the decomposing bodies by security agents to the mortuary, Chief Okon could not, however, confirm whether the mother and child died of injury sustained through violent attack. “I was told that the daughter said there were blood stains on the floor. But I did not go in because the bodies were not a good sight.”
The village head vowed to unravel the cause of the death.
“We have begun our own traditional method of investigation. The police have not arrested anybody yet, and they say so far, they don’t suspect anybody. But I’m sure we will get to the root of the matter. The person leading us to carry out the traditional investigation would soon come”, he said.
When contacted on phone, Mr. Effanga, the second son of the deceased, said he was not yet concerned with investigation to unravel who killed his mother and brother, but on how to bury them as soon as possible.
He said: “My only plea, to you Joe (our reporter) since you represent the Press and heartbeat of the state, is for you to plead with the government at the federal and at the state levels to find the killers of my mother and brother.
“My mother is the mother of anybody. Wherever anybody would come from, she will mother you. You say you are in front of our house now. If my mother were alive and you stepped into that house, she would mother you and you will love her. She was a typical Ibibio woman who receives people. Her hospitality was legendary of the Ibibio race.
“So, I believe that a government that answers its name must protect its citizens and secure them. Once they can secure them; once they can maintain peace; once they can make people sleep well and close their eyes, they can call themselves government.
“Once they fail in such primary responsibility, then, they cannot call themselves government. So they must find the killer of my mother and brother.”
The state police command’s spokesman, Mr Etim Dickson, said there was no arrest yet.
“They might have died of natural cause or might have been as a result of food poisoning, in that case, who will we arrest? All the same, I’m in contact with the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the area. I will keep you posted if there is any development.”
Reacting yesterday in a statement issued in Lagos by the ACN’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party described the gruesome murder of Mrs Effanga and Basil as further proof of the culture of violence and the systemic decimation of its members in Akwa Ibom State. We called on the Presidency to rise above partisan politics and direct the relevant security agencies to apprehend the killers.
“It will be recalled that in the run-up to the 2011 general elections, Akwa Ibom held unenviable record of being the goriest killing field in the entire country, and the ACN’s spokesman in the state, Mr. Francis Effanga, was a thorn in the flesh of the PDP rampaging machinery of oppression and destruction of lives and properties, a role which earned him unjustified persecution, arrest and detention”, Mr. Mohammed noted.
Also reacting, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Aniekan Umanah said: “The illogical press release by Alhaji Lai Mohammed is the latest in a string of bizarre releases which he had gained notoreity for since he became the National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria. One is therefore, not surprised.
“We sympathize with the family of the Effangas and offer them profound condolences. We condemn in the strongest terms the unfeeling, despicable and treacherous attempt by Alhaji Mohammed to politicize and make political capital out of this tragedy.
“It simply shows that to him, politics has no-go areas and this explains the culture of violence which men of his ilk unleashed on Akwa Ibom in the buildup to the last elections. For someone who was complicit in the killings in Akwa Ibom to have the temerity of saying Akwa Ibom held unenviable record of being the goriest killing field in the entire country” is shocking and regrettable. This is as wicked as the man who set his seat on fire in the theatre and ran out screaming: “Fire! Fire!! Fire!!!
“Recall that the ACN, on March 22, 2011 went on a violence spree and burnt more than 500 vehicles and tricycles bought by the government of Akwa Ibom State for urban transportation, burnt down the Campaign Office of President Jonathan, burnt down the school of PDP Senator Alloysuis Etok, killed and maimed innocent citizens under the guise of seeking political office which they had no capacity nor support base to win.
“It is in line with the lawlessness associated witth this mischievous character with comic characteristics that he would not wait for the police to even commence invesigation before attempting to politicize the deaths of these innocent persons,” Umanah said.
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