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Friends, associates remember Oyerinde, want killers found



Governor of Edo State

FRIENDS and associates from the labour union, human rights community, media and others yesterday held third-year memorial meeting in honour of former Deputy General Secretary of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Principal Private Secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Olaitan Oyerinde where they called on the relevant government authorities to bring the killers to book.

They also criticised the outrageous salaries and severance allowances being earned by elected and appointed political office holders across the country.

In his opening remarks, one of the Conveners of the event, Taiwo Akerele described Oyerinde as a humane person. “He was prepared for the assignment he was executing at the time he fell to the cold of hands of death, he was a thorough bred intellectual, he had a sound clarity of thought, solid background on the administrative philosophy of his boss and a clear ideology on the imperatives of social inclusion in governance and development.”

Former Attorney General of Edo State, Osagie Obayuwana described the late Oyerinde as “a bridge builder, tender, humorous yet fearless.” He added that he hoped that one day, the Nigerian Police “will feel challenged that an offence has been committed and will not rest until it is investigated and the culprits arrested.”

On his part, General Secretary, Textile Workers Union, Issa Aremu said the killing of Olaitan raises the “painful nostalgia of Nigeria’s unresolved individual murder cases (high or low) without an official declaration of war.”

Aremu lamented the controversies that surrounded the killing of Oyerinde that led to the police and the Department of State Security (DSS) parading two sets of suspects for the same offence. “The only way to mourn Comrade Olaitan is to fix Nigeria the way he desired.

What would be the reaction of Olaitan to the huge severance pay of 20 outgoing governors and their deputies as severance pay? Some states houses of assembly have enacted generous pension entitlements for governors well above the statutory pay approved by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).

This is unacceptable. No progressive governor should receive this prohibitive pay that has more to do with greed than need. Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG), Professor Julius Ihonvbere while reacting to insinuations that the state government has not done enough to immortalise the late Oyerinde said,

“I can tell you for sure that the Comrade Governor has not forgotten and we discussed it a week before he travelled. You see, you don’t just name anything that somebody can come and eliminate, it has to be something appropriate and I am sure before the end of next month we will do the right thing. We cannot forget Olaitian,” he assured.

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