Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
The Oyo state police command yesterday vowed to track the gunmen who assassinated a serving Labour Party (LP) lawmaker in the Oyo state house of Assembly, Gideon Aremu.
Aremu, representing Oorelope constituency, was gunned down late Friday evening by yet-to-be-identified gunmen after alighting from his car in his Alakia residence, Ibadan, the Oyo state capital. Eye witness accounts said the lawmaker was murdered in front of his house by the killers, using motorcycle, who had trailed him to his residence, before opening fire on him.
Hon. Aremu, until his demise, was the only opposition lawmaker in the Oke Ogun area, as his other nine colleagues are from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He was the Chairman, House committee on Information, Public Relations and Security.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the State Command, SP Adekunle Ajisebutu, said investigation was ongoing, adding “I can confirm that the incident happened late yesterday (Friday), and the police have swung into action,” he said adding that the Commissioner, Mr. Leye Oyebade had already deployed human and material resources in tracking down the culprits.
“We can assure the public that very soon, we will apprehend those behind this cruel act. We equally appeal to members of the public who have information that will help our cause to come forward. Please don’t hesitate,” Ajisebutu stated.
The state Chairman of the opposition LP, Gbenga Olayemi Ariba in a telephone chat with reporters said he was shocked to the marrow and with utter disbelief that “such an innocent and easy going lawmaker could be assassinated for political or whatever reasons.”
Ariba, in an emotion laden voice described the act as ungodly, barbaric and condemnable, stressing that “how could anybody consider that kind of thought to cut short the life of a fellow man? What kind of politics is this? Yesterday it was PDP ruling at virtually all levels, today it is APC and tomorrow, it could be another party and so why are we killing ourselves? What is the motive? I implore the police and other security agents in the state to step up investigation into this matter and bring the culprits to book to serve as deterrent to others.”
Also, the APC has described the murder of Aremu, as shocking and disturbing as the party called for thorough investigation into the matter by the relevant security agencies with a view to bringing the culprits to justice.
While reacting to the development through a statement issued by its Director of Publicity and Strategy, Olawale Sadare, the APC condemned the brutal killing of the lawmaker who it described as an energetic, diligent and easy-going politician whose death had opened another sad chapter in the history of the Pacesetter State.
“We received the news of the killing of Hon. Gideon Aremu with utter disbelief and rude shock in view of the fact such nasty development had become history in the state since 2011 when the current administration of Sen. Abiola Ajimobi took the mantle of leadership of Oyo State.”
“With renewed vision and pragmatic approach to governance by the present administration which manifested in improved security of lives and properties in the state as against the lawlessness, brigandage and political violence of the recent past, one would be taken aback about this particular development especially as preliminary reports indicated that it was a pure case of assassination.
“We therefore express our regret over the incident as much as we condole with the state government, the leadership and members of the Oyo State House of Assembly as well as all the people of Oorelope State Constituency and the good people of the state. We pray God to grant Hon. Aremu eternal rest and give both his immediate and political family the fortitude to bear the loss.
“More importantly, we call on the State Police Command as well as all other relevant security agencies to conduct thorough investigations into the matter with a view to unmasking all the culprits and bring them to justice as soon as possible”, the APC stated.