We are disturbed at the seeming silence on the investigation of the murder of our late Deputy General Secretary, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde who until he was gruesomely murdered in his residence in Benin City, was the Principal Private Secretary to the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
We are more alarmed by the public disclosure by the Edo State Governor about the unprofessional manner the police has handled the case so far.
We believe freedom to life is a guaranteed fundamental right of every citizen in a democracy, and if a government that lay claims to democracy cannot guarantee this, the government itself would be seen as a major obstacle to the growth and sustenance of democracy.
That the police have not been able to prosecute anyone actually confirmed to be either an accomplice or the assassin, but opted to prosecute people who confessed to have been in police custody long before Comrade Oyerinde was murdered, rubbishes the attempt by the current Inspector General of Police at rebuilding the force.
We believe the police know that their role in the protection of lives and property is directly intertwined with the right to freedom and right to life, which are major democratic rights without which our claim to running a democratic society would be a sham.
We are convinced the police know who Olaitan Oyerinde’s killers are, and are buying time believing that soon, Nigerians will put the murder behind them, and become uninterested in the search for the murderers.
Olaitan’s murder is a clear testimony not just to the fact that the lives of every Nigerian has become threatened with the growing army of unemployed youths who have taken to crime due to lack of jobs, but also exposes the weakness of the political leadership of the country who seem completely helpless in combating the growing state of insecurity in Nigeria.
If the lives of the citizen cannot be guaranteed, the people will lose faith in the system and distrust the leadership, and we believe President Jonathan needs to reconnect with the Nigerian people by ensuring that the system works in the collective interest of the people and not a few individuals.
The manner the police has handled this particular case show clearly that the police officers in charge of this case have compromised their office and calling, in the interest of the culprits. Therefore, we call on the IGP, Mohammadu Abubakar to immediately investigate the allegation of complacency by the DIG handling the case, and if found guilty should be severely punished, even if it means dismissal in order to protect the image of the police . We should not continue to entrust our security in the hands of those who have been proved to be grossly incompetent persons like the DIG should have no place in the police force or any aspect of Nigeria’s security system.
The IGP, Mohammadu Abubakar, has attempted to prove himself as committed to the reforms undertaken under his leadership. All these would be eroded should he allow the negligence of any of his subordinates to cast doubts on his ability to sustain the confidence the Nigerian public has reposed in him.
The handling of this case by the police under MD Abubakar’s leadership will further determine our trust in the ability of the police to deliver effectively in a democracy where everyone should conduct his or herself within the precincts of the law.
We therefore demand that the IGP reopens this case and get the actual culprits prosecuted and punished in accordance with the law as this heinous murder is not just of interest to us but to the entire Nigerian people who feel unsafe if a young and highly talented man could be so gruesomely murdered while the police seem helpless simply because its top officer had compromised the force.