Nigeria workers were shocked beyond words by the tragic assassination this morning of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, Deputy General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
Comrade Oyerinde who is on leave of absence serving in Edo State as the Principal Private Secretary to the State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was shot at point blank by assassins who ascertained his identity before shooting him.
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 only explanation is that his assassination is an attempt to emotionally and psychologically weaken the Comrade Governor in his quest for re-election.
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.
It is also noteworthy that this assassination is coming so soon in the wake of a 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.
Also recently, the new offices of the AIT in Benin were 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.
Congress also advices the Police and security agencies to first investigate matters and let facts guide their conclusion before rushing to make claims that particular political assassinations are robbery incidents.
Our condolences go to our departed Comrade’s family, the Governor and people of Edo State and the working people of our country whom Comrade Oyerinde had served with exemplary dedication. The Nigerian people will never be intimidated!
Abdulwahed I. Omar