Fashola, Aregbesola, Fayemi, Ajimobi Pay Condolence Visit To Oshiomhole Over Death Of Aide
• We've come to sympathise with you, to condemn the spate of violence - Fashola
May 6, 2012 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), and other Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Governors on Sunday visited Benin to condole with their Edo State counterpart, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole over the assassination of his Principal Private Secretary, Mr. Olaitan Oyerinde.
Oyerinde who, until his death, was Principal aide to the Edo State Governor, was murdered in his sitting room on Second Ugbor Road, GRA, Benin City in the early hours of Friday morning by yet to be identified assassins.
Speaking at the Government House in Benin, Governor Fashola, who described the murder of Olaitan as shocking and cruel, expressed sadness that though elections were meant to be about developmental issues and contest of ideas, some politicians have turned it into a mindless orgy of violence.
The Governor told Oshiomhole, "We have come to sympathize with you and the people of Edo State over this very sad and unfortunate incident. We have come to express our solidarity and also to condemn the spate of violence that is manifesting in the run up to the election in this state".
"We have come to commiserate with you and to urge you to continue with the good works that you continue to do in this State since you took office. We also wish to convey our sympathy to the family of your aide who was victim of this incident", the Governor further said.
Praying that God would comfort the people of Edo State, especially the family of the deceased, Governor Fashola declared, "We are saddened by what we see but we urge you to remain focused, be a man of peace, continue to be a man of ideas".
He further enjoined Governor Oshiomhole "to keep to the track of peace, a track of democracy and a track of service to the people of Edo State which you have been known to tread", adding that although the period could be very challenging "but we believe that if you remain focused, the challenges will create opportunities for the people of Edo State".
In his remarks, the Osun State Counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said the ACN Governors had come to register their sorrow and grief at the untimely and cruel death that Olaitan suffered expressing dismay that politics which the founding fathers of the country based on issues has been reduced "to miserable factional and base materialism by those who have nothing else to offer than their own greed".
According to Governor Aregbesola, "What is happening in Nigerian today in terms of insecurity and violence across the country are a manifestation of the failure of governance", adding that there was serious need for review of the nation's security system.
Also praying for the repose of the soul of the deceased and fortitude to enable the Government and people of Edo State, particularly the family of the deceased, to bear the loss, Governor Aregbesola, who noted that the late Oyerinde was from Ede in Osun State, called for a reform and reorganization of the nation's security system.
The Governors also visited the widow and children of the late Oyerinde to pay their condolences.
In his remarks while with the family, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi expressed shock at the gruesome murder of Oyerinde saying he was a link between him and the Edo State Governor and anytime he could not get to his Edo State counterpart, he would go for Oyerinde for any information he needed.
He described the deceased as a very articulate and hardworking person pointing out that while working in Edo State, he was also monitoring the happenings in other ACN states "just to ensure that the developments which have become the watchword of our various administrations are not being compromised".
"We know we cannot query God but we have the right to ask ourselves why bad things happen to good people. Olaitan was a principled fighter; I have known him since our days in the Labour Movement and I have related with him just as all of our colleagues have in one way or the other related to him", the Governor said.
Consoling the wife of Oyerinde, Governor Fayemi declared, " We will not be deterred. What I want to say to our sister and the children and the rest of the family members is that God, in his infinity mercy, will give her the courage, the fortitude in these difficult times, to trudge on as father and mother now to the children".
Assuring Governor Oshiomhole of the support of the ACN Governors, for the family of the deceased, Dr. Fayemi declared, "But like in our own way we know Olaitan was like a son to you and amongst ourselves as your colleagues in this struggle for freedom and justice and democracy for our people, we have also collectively decided that we will do our own quota in supporting the family of our fallen comrade and we want to reassure them that Comrade Olaitan did not and will not die in vain".
According to Fayemi, "For those who think they have the license and the freedom to destroy life, let us assure them that they will not get away with this particular murder because we are convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that this is not mere armed robbery attack".
In his response, Governor Oshiomhole thanked his colleagues for the visit saying it has further strengthened him to continue in his avowed service to the people of Edo State knowing that he is not alone.
Throwing more light on the incident that led to the death of his aide, Governor Oshiomhole declared, said the incident was part of a well articulated plan by the opposition who, according to him, met in the house of a leading political chieftain with their candidate and two others in attendance.
According to the Governor, the opposition at the meeting reviewed the situation in the State and knowing that the coming election would not be in their favour, decided to cause confusion through accidents and assassinations of his close aides that would look like armed robbery as well as kidnaps.
Governor Oshiomhole, who said he invited the Commissioner of Police and briefed as well as gave him a letter detailing the plan, noted that the murder of Olaitan Oyerinde came 48 hours after his meeting with the Police Commissioner adding, "So there is no doubt that Olaitan was assassinated".
Describing the deceased as an intelligent and committed man with passion for public service, Governor Oshiomhole said, although people were eager to react, he had to advise them to keep calm adding, "I like to fight electoral battle but not to shed the blood of innocent people. I do not want to play the game their way otherwise they will brand us the same".
The Governor, however, said, "I have told the Police that if it becomes so clear that we cannot rely on them for maintaining adequate security in the State, we have to look at other options because we have to protect ourselves".
"We are giving the Police time. We will not just go to sleep. If they do not find the killers, we will find them and when we do, we will have to deal with them. We will not leave them like that", he said adding, "They knew how close he was to me that was why they went for him".
Other Action Congress of Nigeria Governors who were on the condolence visit included the Governors of Ogun and Oyo States, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and Senator Abiola Ajimobi respectively.