Upon the assassination of US President Abraham Lincoln, British novelist, Elizabeth Gasket penned the following words: “My heart burned within me with indignation and grief; we could think of nothing else. All night long we had but little sleep, waking up perpetually to the sense of a great shock and grief. Everyone is feeling the same. I never knew such a universal feeling.”
By these words, she implied that any assassination attempt against a respected and dearly loved leader only serves to unite the populace in dread, fear, grief, and shock. Without question, this is the same understanding that came upon many with the gunmen attack in Otuoke in the early hours of Tuesday.
The central cause of outrage by most people against the gunmen’s attack is not only that it is a violent, immoral act, but also that it is against a man who is deeply respected by many Nigerians, a former Nigerian president for that matter.
According to reliable sources, several gunmen attacked the country home of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Although the attack was originally believed to be a case of armed robbery, it is now the opinion of many that it was nothing short of an assassination attempt.
Fortunately for Jonathan, he was not at home to receive the gunmen. In any case, several men were allegedly injured during the attack, and one security guard – a soldier – allegedly lost his life. This has caused ripples in the country, with supporters of the former president asking for an explanation.
A notable media personality and activist has also been reported as declaring that the assassination attempt could have pushed the country into irreversible tumult. In addition, several powerful figures have already spoken concerning the issue, including President Muhammadu Buhari, who expressed condolences over the dead and injured and promised the continuing protection of all and every Nigerian citizen.
Perhaps taking the president at his word, Jonathan moved to Abuja – perhaps for the time being – for the safety of his life. Now closer to Aso Rock, there is doubtless increased protection and a lesser likelihood for a similar shot at him.
In the meantime, he has called for an investigation, a sentiment shared by President Buhari and countless others.