Olaitan Oyerinde: A Life Too Short,By Issa Aremu

Aremu2013It’ a year we received with great shock the sad news of the assassination of the former Principal Private Secretary to the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole at his residence in Benin City during the early hours of Friday May 4th, 2012 by unknown assailants. This sad development came barely one week after the seeming orchestrated attack on the convoy of Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomhole
that claimed the lives of three (3) Journalists and left several others injured.

The cowardly murder of Comrade Olaitan is not only a great loss to the current administration of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the good people of Edo State that he diligently served for almost (4) years, but also to all of us in the labour movement. He was until his death also the General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour (NLC) on leave of absence to Edo State. Comrade Olaitan as he was popularly called was a tested Comrade. I bear testimony to his hardwork, dedication and intellectual contribution to the growth and development of the . He was among the first political appointees made by the Comrade Governor of Edo State shortly after his assumption of office as Governor of Edo State. Even as the Principal Private Secretary to Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Comrade Olaitan effectively and commendably combined his duties with his responsibility in the Nigeria Labour (NLC).

Textile workers’ Union bears the burden of the vacuum created by the dastardly murder of a worthy Comrade. His last support and solidarity for our union was during our last Delegates’ Conference held in Asaba in March 2012. His singular intervention to ensure our taylor members in Edo in their thousands attend the historic conference without stress underscored his allegiance to the labour movement. Few comrades look back when they have opportunity to be in government.

Like most progressive activists, he was truly a global citizen! Comrade Olaitain hailed from Osun State but many would readily insist he came from Kwara state where he had his primary, secondary and in part tiertery education. Indeed his lovely father and mother reside in Ilorin. His acceptance of an appointment as a Principal Private Secretary of the governor of Edo State and his humous celeberation as a hero of that state further attested to his pan Nigerian vision. His death came exactly when his services and energy were most needed in the great of Edo State governance.

Its time all Nigerians rally around the government and good people of Edo State to unearth the murderers and get them prosecuted. At 44, Olaitan was one life too brutally cut short!. Nigeria’ unresolved individual murder cases (high or low) could very well lead to gradual decimation of a nation without an official declaration of war. Since Olatain’ death last year, 60 lives of Nigerians were reportedly cut short in an open cattle market in Potiskum, . recently no fewer than 185 people were killed during a clash between the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram and the Multinational Joint Force in Baga, Borno State. We have inadvertently dignified unauthorised killings and reduced human lives and relations to mere statistics; ” only 39!” when indeed killing a soul unjustly amounts to killing a humankind, so we are told in the Holy Book.
Some historic murder, like Olaitan were not statistics. They were well known names; Dele Giwa, Bola Ige, Funso Williams, Pa Alfred Rewane, Chiefs Dikibo, Harry Marshal, Suliat Adedeji, among other many lives cut too short. It is an open knowledge that Nigeria’ life expectancy has sadly fallen bellow 50 years, no thanks to malaria, typhoid, cancers and scores of aviodable associated with underdevelopment. With increasing cases of unresolved murder cases and mass killings in the land are we saying Nigerians should give on life expentancy and be contended with death expectancy? A year after Olaitan’s death, who cut a life so short and why?

Issa Aremu mni

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