The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says the only explanation for today’s assassination of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, its Deputy General Secretary, is an attempt to emotionally and psychologically weaken Governor Adams Oshiomhole in his quest for re-election.
Drawing a parallel between the current politics of Edo State and the politics of the First Republic in the old Western Region and the tragic consequences it yielded for the entire country, it called on the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to arrest the criminals in Edo State and their pay masters.
In a statement issued by Abdulwahed I. Omar, its President, the NLC said Nigeria workers were shocked beyond words by the tragic assassination of Mr. Oyerinde, who was on leave of absence as the Principal Private Secretary to Governor Oshiomhole. He was reported to have been shot at point blank range by assassins who ascertained his identity before committing the act.
“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,” the statement said.
It noted that the political situation in Edo State, the 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.
The NLC said it was noteworthy that this assassination followed last week’s suspicious traffic accident involving Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s convoy in which three journalists lost their lives, and an assassination attempt on the State Information Commissioner, Mr Louis Odion. The new offices of the AIT in Benin were also recently attacked and its equipment carted away.
“The way the politics of Edo State is going is reminiscent of the First Republic politics in the old Western Region which led to tragic consequences for the entire country.
The NLC therefore calls on the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to arrest the criminals in Edo State and their pay masters. In any electoral contest such as that slated for Edo State, the electorate must be allowed to determine its outcome.
Otherwise, the struggle for democracy will be lost and the country will descend into a state of anarchy. The NLC therefore calls on the Federal Government to thoroughly investigate Comrade Oyerinde’s assassination and bring the criminals to justice.”
The Congress also advised the Police and security agencies to investigate matters “and let facts guide their conclusion before rushing to make claims that particular political assassinations are robbery incidents.”
Soyinka deplores Oyerinde’s murder
Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has deplored the killing of the Principal Private Secretary to Edo State Governor, Mr Olaitan Oyerinde in his home in Benin City, saying “the agents of darkness and retrogression will not triumph”.
In a text message on the issue, Soyinka said, “The hand of the assassin is clear as day. It reaches all the way back to the killing of Bola Ige. Please convey my deepest condolences to his (Oyerinde’s) widow, children and colleagues”.
“Tell Oshiomhole we all stand by him against the agents of darkness and retrogression. They shall not triumph”, he said.