Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State
By Adibe Emenyonu
Governors elected on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) have demanded an overhaul of the security architecture in the country.
They made the demand when they paid a condolence visit to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State over the gruesome murder of his Private Principal Secretary, Mr. Olaitan Oyenrinde.
Oyerinde was killed in the early hours of Friday, May 4, 2012 by unknown gunmen.
The police, meanwhile, announced Sunday that Oshiomhole had offered a reward of N10 million to anyone who could volunteer information that would lead to the arrest of the killers.
The governors said the time had come for the Federal Government “to do something urgently before the situation gets out of hand”.
Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, speaking on behalf of four other governors — Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun; Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti; Babatunde Fashola, Lagos; and Abiola Ajimobi, Oyo — said the security situation in the country remained precarious because all security agencies (military, police, SSS) are under the direct command of the Federal Government.
He said if state governors were in direct control of at least the police alone, most crimes like murder, armed robbery, assassination and kidnapping would to a large extent be nipped in the bud.
“But the situation we find ourselves in this country is that state governors are merely called chief security officers of their various states, while the Federal Government is in direct control,” he lamented, adding that there must be a reversal of the status quo.
Also speaking, Fayemi said it was a sad moment not only for the Edo State Government but for all of them in the labour community especially as the late Olaitan was a major link between Edo and other ACN states.
His words: “We came to commiserate with you and the family of Olaitan. Though we cannot query God, but we have the right to question why bad things happen to good people. Those who have cause to come in contact with him know that he is a principled man.
“We pray that God in His infinite mercy will give the wife and the children the fortitude to bear the loss. However, we have decided collectively we will contribute our quota in supporting the family our fallen hero left behind.
“For those who killed him, we assure them that they must be caught because like you said, it was not a case of robbery or unorganised event. It was deliberate because those who did it knew full well that this is a government that has earned the confidence of the people, and they had to do what they did.”
Oshiomhole assured his fellow ACN governors that the killers would be fished out.
He told them that already, a 14-day ultimatum had been given to the police to track down the killers, adding: “I hope Abuja is sensitive to what is happening and will call the godfather to order. Otherwise, we will call him to order and we have the capacity to do so.”
According to Oshiomhole, “I have already told the police that inasmuch as we do not believe in killing because no office is worth spilling human blood for and that we rely on them to do their job... but if they are not willing to help us, we will help ourselves.”
He said the calculation of those who are behind the killing of Olaitan and the accident that resulted in the death of the three journalists in his convoy was to create distraction and fears among the people so that on the election day, they would have a field day with their rigging strategy.
“But what they have failed to realise is that I have conquered fear many years ago,” he declared.
Describing the late principal secretary as one of the most competent staff that worked with him during his days at the NLC, Oshiomhole said: “He reads my mood, understands my body language. And when I came in as governor, I had to persuade him to come and work with me. That is why his death is more painful to me.”
Announcing the N10 million reward in Benin City Sunday, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Force Headquarters, Abuja, Mr. Peter Gana, said no stone would be left unturned to get the killers.
The DIG said he was in Benin City to complement the efforts of the state police command.