Assasins Hit Oshomole's Secretary
Assasins Hit the political camp of Edo State Governor Adams Oshiohole yesterday.
They killed his Principal Private Secretary, Mr.Olaitan Oyerinde, just six days after the governor himself escaped death in a auto crash and five days after gunmen missed his Commissioner for Information, Mr.Loius Odion, at home.
Four persons, including three journalists, died in Saturday’s auto accident on Afuze-Auchi Road, with the governor crying out that he was the real target.
Oyerinde’s murder in the presence of his wife has provoked an outrage across the land.
Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, said: “The hand of the assassin is clear as day,” while Gov Oshiomhole told the Police to fish out the killers immediately.
Oyerinde, 44, was shot dead by four gunmen who invaded his house located in Ugbor area, Benin City around 1 am.
They first tied the security guard while two of them forced their way through the front door and made straight for his bedroom, but it was Oyerinde’s brother-in-law they found there. They left him and went for the wife, Funke, asking her to lead them to the husband who, unknown to them, was sleeping in the living room.
Once they sighted Oyerinde, the hoodlums fired four shots, one each to the head, chest, abdomen and hip. He died instantly.
Mission accomplished, the assailants fled, taking nothing from the house.
Oyerinde, a Mass Communication graduate of the University of Lagos, was seconded from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to work with the comrade governor in November 2007. He is survived by his wife, Funke, and four children as well as aged father and mother.
Only on Saturday, a tipper crashed into Governor Oshiomhole’s convoy on the Afuze-Auchi Road after it veered off its track and headed straight for the staff car, missing it by a whisker. Three journalists were killed while others, including security details, sustained various degrees of injury.
At about 2.45 am the following day, the home of the Information Commissioner, Odion, was invaded by four gunmen who also missed him because he opted to pass the night in a friend’s house located in another part of the city.
A member of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Johnson Oghuma, was similarly attacked by gunmen recently. Oghuma, who represents Etsako Central, was on his way to Fugar, his hometown. His car was riddled with bullets.
Odion said last Sunday that certain government functionaries were being targeted for elimination.
Special Adviser on Media to Gov.Oshiomhole, Mr. Tony Iyare, said yesterday: “This sequence of sordid events, coming each time on the eve of the flag-off of Governor Oshiomhole’s campaign, raises grave concern and therefore demands thorough investigation by the security forces.”
Deploring Oyerinde’s murder, Soyinka said “the agents of darkness and retrogression will not triumph.”
Soyinka, in a text message, 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.”
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) also condemned the murder, saying it raised a lot of questions, especially coming shortly after the yet-to-be-resolved ramming of the Governor’s convoy by a truck.
In a statement in Ibadan, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described the development as another indication of the growing state of anarchy across the country, to which the PDP-federal government has no answer.
His words: ”If someone as close to the Governor as his Private Secretary can be so mindlessly killed in cold blood, shortly after what now seems to be a failed attempt on the Governor’s life when the truck rammed into his convoy, one cannot but be concerned about the safety of the Governor himself.
‘’Yes, there may not yet be any conclusive evidence linking anyone to these incidents, but there is a growing concern that they may not be unconnected with the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state, especially considering the desperation of the PDP to ‘reclaim’ the state at all costs.
‘’But we are bound to ask: Must everyone be killed and Edo state thrown into anarchy just because the PDP wants to rule the state at all costs? If the PDP is as popular in Edo State as it claims, why is it afraid of contesting a free and fair election in July? Or has the PDP just realised that since Gov. Oshiomhole’s sterling performance has all but guaranteed his re-election, the only way the party (PDP) can return to the state house is by playing dirty?’’
The ACN said its concerns and suspicions on the spate of attacks directed at the Governor stemmed from the fact that many high-profile assassinations in the country have remained unresolved - a pointer to the fact that such killings might not have been due to mere happenstance.
‘’Take the case of Chief Bola Ige who, as a sitting Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, was so easily mowed down, and yet the killers have not been brought to justice. Isn’t it clear that the only reason the assassination has yet to be resolved is because of the calibre of those who may have orchestrated the killing?
‘’Then, of course, the assassinations of Harry Marshall, Aminasoari Dikibo and Funsho Williams, just to name a few, have remained unresolved many years on. This is why we are compelled to cry out now, to warn those who are seemingly targeting Gov. Oshiomhole to desist. After all, there is no indication yet that the ‘nest of killers’ has been dismantled,’’ ACN said.
The party said it was “becoming increasingly clear to the PDP that it will be hard for it to win any fresh election, considering the worsening insecurity of lives and property in the country, the rising unemployment and the mindless looting of the national treasury under the party’s watch, and the cluelessness of those in charge of the country’s affairs.
‘’This may explain the resort to acts of desperation by the PDP.’’
Former State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, who recently defected to the ACN, Sunny Uyigue, recalled media interviews in which he said Oshiomhole’s aides were targeted for assassination.
He said some persons had been pencilled down to be killed or kidnapped and urged the security agencies to fish out the killers.
Senator Ehigie Uzamere representing Edo South described the late Olaitan as a quiet and unassuming young man.
“Olaitan was the engine room of Oshiomhole’s government. We are not going to relent on our effort to ensure Oshiomhole returns as governor,” Uzamere said.
Former Edo State representative in the Niger Delta Development Commission, Hon Matthew Iduoriyikemwen, said it was sad some people had to resort to killing opponents in this democratic dispensation.
He said: “The whole thing is so sad. It is so painful. This incident should not be left univestigated. We are now wondering the type of security
yesterday said it was on the trial of the killers of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s private secretary, Olaitan Oyerinde.
State Commissioner of Police, Olayinka Balogun who spoke in a telephone said they were working round every details to apprehend the killers.
Balogun assured that the police will leave no stone upturn in apprehending the culprits.
Assasins Hit Oshomole's Secretary
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