Condemnation mounts over murder of Oshiomhole’s aide in Edo
Condemnation poured in torrents on Friday from a cross section of Nigerians and groups in the wake of the dastardly murder of Olaitan Oyerinde, the principal private Secretary to Edo state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole.
Condolence messages condemning the killing came from the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), where the late Oyerinde worked as Deputy General Secretary before proceeding on a leave of absence following the election of Mr. Oshiomhole as governor; Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka; human rights and constitutional Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo, and the Oba of Benin, Omo ‘N’ Oba ‘N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediuwa.
Others include the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and Lagos lawyer, Bamidele Aturu.
In its message, NLC President, Abdulwahed Omar, said the only explanation that could be adduced from late Oyerinde’s assassination is “an attempt to emotionally and psychologically weaken Governor Adams Oshiomhole in his quest for re-election.”
“His gruesome assassination is baffling, as Comrade Oyerinde was not a politician, held no high government appointment such as commissioner and was not even an indigene of Edo State,” Mr. Omar said.
He noted that the political situation in Edo State, particularly statements of do-or-die politics, point to a strategy to intimidate, assassinate and create a siege mentality in a desperate attempt to take over political power.
Calling on President Goodluck Jonathan administration to arrest the perpetrators of the crime in Edo State and their pay masters, Mr. Omar said if the electorate are not allowed to determine the outcome of elections, the struggle for democracy would be lost, while the country would descend into a state of anarchy.
On his part, Soyinka, who deplored the murder, said “the agents of darkness and retrogression will not triumph”.
“The hand of the assassin is clear as day,” he said in brief message. “It reaches all the way back to the killing of Bola Ige. “Tell Oshiomhole, we all stand by him against the agents of darkness and retrogression. They shall not triumph.”
Festus Keyamo said he received with shock the news of the gruesome murder of his “friend, and comrade-in-the-struggle”, describing him as one of Mr. Oshiomhole’s chief strategists in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo State.
“Since there is no report of items stolen from the house, it is clearly a case of political assassination,” Mr. Keyamo said. “It is obvious that some elements in Edo State who want power at all cost and who are resistant to change have decided to deep their hands in blood rather than the ballot box. They will fail, they will fail and they will fail again and again just like they failed before.”
While warning that Olaitan’s death must not be swept under the carpet, Mr. Keyamo urged government to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice, adding that, “Those who kill by the sword deserve to die also by the sword.”
The Benin monarch, who deplored the unfolding events in the political scene in Edo State, appealed to the political actors to play the game according to the rules, while urging Mr. Oshiomhole to leave everything in the hands of God” and “keep on praying.”
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), described the late Mr. Oyerinde as a detribalized Nigerian other citizens must emulate, pointing out that he was one who did not only stand up to think in true terms about how the Nigerian nation can make real progress, but also one who devoted his time, minds and energy to improving the lot of the suffering masses.
“The death of this great mind at a time when there are increasing cries for true patriots to arise and remind the powers that be that this nation belongs to the people and must be made to serve the interest of the people, reminds us of how the loss of respect for the sanctity of human life that our oppressive government policies depict on a daily basis, can manifest in literally tragic ways as a murder,” CISLAC said.
Human rights lawyer, Bamidele Aturu, described late Oyerinde as a great thinker and ideologue of the masses, describing those who masterminded his killing as “little minds who were scared of his enormous intellect and organizational acumen.”
“I lack words to describe my pain concerning the wicked cold blood murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde today in Benin by some agents of darkness,” Mr. Aturu said.
“This is certainly too much of a loss for the labour movement and the civil society in general to bear. Olaitan was undoubtedly one of our very best. This is a big tragedy that will be difficult to recover from. He was a thinker and ideologue of the working people and one of the finest socialists that I have ever met.”
Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, said he has already petitioned the state Commissioner of Police, informing him of the meeting held at the residence of the godfather of Edo politics prior to the killing of his aide.
Mr. Oshiomhole said that if the police do not find the killers as well as carry out proper investigation into the recent killing of some journalists in the state, he would provide the leadership to the people to find solution.
The governor expressed anger that in the name of politics people are bringing violence to the state, by killing, maiming and planning more violence