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Why I appointed Oyerinde Principal Private Secretary, by Oshiomhole

Governor Oshiomhole flanked on the left by the widow, Labake and Elder the burial
Governor Oshiomhole flanked on the left by the widow, Labake and Elder Akinwusi…at the burial

By Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo and Osagie Otabor, Benin

EDO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, yesteday explained why he appointed the late Olaitan Oyerinde his Principal Private Secretary.

He was addressing a crowd of human rights actvists, civil society groups, labour movement and students, who thronged the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp, Ede, venue of the lying-in-state and burial service.

Oshiomhole told his audience that the late Oyerinde understood him more than anyone else.

The late Oyerinde, he said was invited to join his administration to remind him of his principles and to caution him anytime he was drifting from his ideology.

“Olaitan had the gift to play with words and can easily read my lips and put to paper exactly what is in my mind,” the comrade-governor said.

He described the deceased as a fearless and dogged fighter, who proved himself a dependable ally.

His words: “When I was considering to run for governorship, I called him and asked for his opinion. He was my confidant. When I was appointing him, I never bothered about the town where he came from. No primordial sentiments featured in his appointment at all. It will be difficult to find someone who could capture my mind on issues like Olaitan.

“Those who killed him really got me where it hurts most. They knew that if they could not get the king, they would get the son. I know we will use the day light to get the cowards, who used the night to kill Olaitan.

“The cowards only wasted their bullets because they only killed the flesh but not the spirit of Olaitan because he has children and he will forever be in our hearts. They have succeeded in killing Olaitan but not the fighting in me.”

Oshiomhole, who said a street has been renamed Olaitan Oyerinde Crescent in Edo State to immortalise him, assured that his family would not be allowed all to suffer anything in his absence.

He sent his condolence to his aged parents, the Osun State Government and the people of the state.

There were speeches from many labour leaders and notable activists, including Lagos lawyer Femi Falana, amid wailings and tears the remains of Oyerinde were buried.

Oshiomhole, who arrived in a chartered helicopter at about 1.55 p.m., was received by the Osun State Head of Service, Elder Segun Akinwusi, who represented Governor Rauf  Aregbesola.

Akinwusi was accompanied by top government officials, including commissioners, special advisers and local government chairmen to give  the deceased a befitting burial.

Expressing regret over the gruesome killing of Oyerinde, Aregbesola  urged security agents to find his killers and bring them to justice.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade AdulWaheed Omar and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart Peter Esele had a hectic time delivering their farewell messages.

Their presentations were interrupted by students, who used the platform to berate them over the role they played in the January anti-fuel subsidy removal protest.

The students pelted the labour leaders with satchets of pure water.

Former Secretary of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Lagos State chapter, Omotaje Olawale St. Jericho, paid a glowing tribute to the late Olaitan for his sterling leadership qualities from the students’ unionism days.

According to him, the deceased rallied support for the labour struggle against injustices.

He recalled his active role during 1989 anti-Structural Adjustment Programme protest under military president General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd).

He recalled the late Oyerinde led the peaceful protest without compromise, adding that he coordinated all the campuses and ensured the protest was successful.

The Special Adviser to Governor Aregbesola on Environmental Matters,  Mr. Bola Ilori, also a  student-activist in his university days, described Oyerinde’s death as a wake-call to all on security issues.

Falana, challenged the students to emulate the good spirit of the late Oyerinde, whom he said proved himself a selfless and dedicated activist.

The activist-lawyer,  who enjoined the students to always take responsibility for their actions, urged them to ask if they are on the side of justice.

Recalling that he spoke with the deceased four weeks ago, Falana said the late Oyerinde planned to return to activism to re-organise the youth movement.

He challenged the youths to work hard and fight for justice, saying that the fate of the people should not be left in the hands of the “reckless political class.”

The hearse bearing Oyerinde’s remains,  accompanied top government functionaries, left Benin City at about 6:15am.

At a service of songs held Wednesday evening at the Government House for the late Oyerinde, officiating Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said God and time will reveal those who killed Oyerinde.

The cleric described Oyerinde as a lover of freedom and a man who devoted himself for a better Nigeria.

He said: “He was quiet, unassuming, friendly, firm and focus. A man who will not a hurt a fly. Why did they kill him? What was his offence?

“An innocent man has been killed in his private residence. They wanted to make sure that he was dead. Those were not armed robbers or kidnappers. This is not the best way to settle dispute.

“It will not be well with Oyerinde’s killers. Today we call the blood of heaven that those who took Oyerinde’s life will die a terrible death.”

Pastor Ize-Iyamu recalled how the late Oyerinde felt indifferent when they received security report. He said many of them took extra measures to protect themselves but that late Oyerinde never believed anybody could harm him.

In his tribute entitled: “We shared the dream of a new Edo State”, Oshiomhole said he picked Oyerinde because he needed a companion who operated on the same intellectual frequency.

The governor noted he was not in doubt that Oyerinde was killed to weaken his resolve to fight for the people.

He said: “It was immaterial that Oyerinde did not hail from Edo State insofar he was most resourceful, creative and could work under severe pressure.

“In the last three and half years of my stewardship in Edo State, I attest that Comrade Oyerinde proved most supportive, to say nothing of his terrific sense of humour which often provided comic relief during moments of tension.”

Source: The Nation Newspaper

Behold, Terrors of our Highways!

It all started about four years ago at a football field in the heart of Benin city, the Edo state capital where Lucky Iyamu 23, Kingsley Ofeya 31,  ShakaYakubu Oseki 28,  Kelvin Omotuemhen  26, Onyeka Joseph 42 and Jude Egumahe 24 met.

That evening meeting was originally for the purpose of playing football but something remarkable happened while awaiting the arrival of others with a view to forming a formidable team.  These six jolly good friends soon discovered that they were joined together by fate:  no good parental background,  no credible means of livelihood and  they all dropped out of school and were into petty stealing.

Except for Lucky Iyamu who was relatively new in the group, the remaining five had been meeting at the same field where after playing football, they would go their different ways at dusk to either steal money or foodstuffs at the open market in order to feed  for the next day.

L-R: Kingsley Ofeya, Kelvin Omotueme, Jude Egumahe and Onyeka Joseph

But the coming of Lucky Iyamu into the group changed the tempo of their illicit activities  into a much more sophisticated dimension.  Incidentally, Lucky had on the previous day gone into one of the pentecostal churches near Oba market in the city to steal a rug  when he was confronted by those who later became his friends and colleagues- in- crime.

In fact, it was the confrontation that necessitated the meeting the following day at the field and  rather than play football which was originally the plan,  they decided to take their destinies in their hands by going into full scale highway robbery. Though the idea was unanimously agreed upon but the group was confronted with one major problem; the guns.

How to procure guns and ammunition became a draw back to their mission and aspiration.    However, Onyeka Joseph, the Isiala-Ngwa born father of three was on hand to provide solution for that.   He immediately got some money from the gang,  traveled to Awka, the Anambra state capital and soon, the gang could boast of three locally made pistols and several cartridges.  Thus, a highway armed robbery gang had been formed!

Confessing how he became what he is today amid tears,  Lucky Iyamu, the last man to join the gang who later became their leader for his dexterity in arms handling blamed his ordeal on poor parental upbringing.  “If I had a  good father who cared for his children, I would not have been here today.

I was in Edo College but dropped out not be cause I was dull but because I could not pay my school fees.  I started pushing cart and making little money to take care of myself.   From there, I started picking pockets and stealing both money and food stuffs.

It was one evening that I wanted to go and steal carpet in a church that I met Kelvin and others who initially confronted me but when they discovered that I was into what they equally do, they invited  me to a field where we formed the gang of highway robbers .

That was how we started.   But sir, robbery or kidnapping is not a good thing to do.  If I have an opportunity  in my next world, I shall campaign against crime and criminality.  It is not the best.   So when we eventually got the three guns from Awka,  we were happy and ready for real business.

I took one, Kelvin held one while Onyeka held the third one.  Other members of the gang carried cutlasses and jack-knives.  So we decided that we should start from the Benin/Sapele road. That night, we robbed three buses and made N3m and snatched one Toyota Camry.

The vehicle was sold to a man who gave his names as Barrister Nwosu for N400,000.  The following week again,  we robbed along  Benin/Auchi road and  later went to a bank in Aganegbode where we killed a Police inspector and collected his AK47 Assault riffle.

There,  we also snatched another Toyota Camry 2008 model which we sold to the same man for N600,000.  We had money everywhere and realized that we wasted years doing petty stealing.   We go to clubs, enjoy ourselves and spent money but it was  Saka who  sold  the idea that we should settle down and get accommodation for ourselves and perhaps,  invest the money we made while we still continue with the business.

That was how I rented two bedroom flat, bought a car  and picked a girlfriend who now has a baby boy for me.  Saka and others went to Onitsha and started poultry business; but we normally communicate through GSM phones when to converge and strike.  After about two weeks, Saka and Onyeka brought the idea that we should strike at Agbor/Asaba road but I was afraid because there used to be many roadblocks along that highway.

During the day, we surveyed the road and discovered that immediately after the boundary between Delta and Edo state, roadblocks are not so much and policemen are not many along the road.

We went and carried some logs and kept them by the bush and decided that Kelvin and Jude will go to Upper Iweka in Onitsha to board a bus while we will mount road block as if we were policemen and when the luxury bus drives to a stop at the checkpoint mounted by us,  we will quickly deflate the  tyres, jump into it and quickly throw arms to our guys in the bus.

So that was how we were operating and it was fetching us good money.  But when the new Oga of police came, he banned roadblocks and our business became affected.  We could no longer mount road blocks anymore, so we decided to change our operations to kidnapping.

We  kidnapped one business man in Benin and he paid N5m and  after collecting my share, I decided to travel outside the country.  I went to Libya while my members continued the job.  But when my girlfriend put to bed, I came back to the country not knowing that some of my guys have been arrested and they mentioned my senior brother’s name.  He too was arrested but because I know he was in the police cell for my sake, I decided to surrender myself only to discover that all my guys have been arrested.”

Reacting to the arrest, the Commissioner of Police, CP,  Edo state, Mr. Olayinka Balogun said when he was posted to the city, he was greeted with the menace of kidnapping and armed robbery and  therefore, decided to put certain measures to checkmate the menace in place.  The measure Balogun said, “is already yielding dividend.

The fact is that I met an anti-kidnapping department in place in the command but I decided to invigorate it through credible hands and provision of logistics to work with.  I am one police officer who  believes that productivity can be greatly enhanced through  provision of incentives and clean environment within which to operate and that is what we are doing, and we are poised to sustain that till we leave here.”

Source : The Vanguard Nigeria

#Nigeria Governor Oshiomhole’s Aide Assassinated In Edo State

Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde
By Saharareporters, New York

Olaitan Oyerinde a popular labour activist and principal secretary to the Governor of Edo State Adams Oshiomhole was murdered in cold blood last night around 2: 00 AM by unknown gunmen in Benin city, the capital of Edo state.

Comrade Olaitan was shot to death in front of his wife and children by armed assassins who stormed his officials residence in the city. His murder is apparently related to the Governor Oshiomhole’s upcoming re-election campaign in Edo State. As an official aide to the governor Olaitan is crucial to the coordination and management of electioneering activities for the governor. Comrade Olaitan a University of Lagos alumni is well-known and highly respected as an excellent organizer.

Just last week the governor narrowly escaped a mysterious auto accident in the state, a truck rammed into his convoy as he was returning from a campaign rally, killing 3 journalists and injuring several others.

Also,  a few hours later a group of assassins stormed the house of the commissioner of information in the state Louis Odion attempting to kill him but the commissioner escaped being killed because he was not home when the assassins came calling.

Source-Sahara Reporters

67m Nigerian Youths Jobless — FG

The minister of youth development, Mallam  Bolaji  Abdullahi, yesterday lamented the unemployment rate in the country, declaring that about 67million young people are jobless and that, of the figure, 80 per cent of them don’t possess a university degree.
Bolaji, who addressed hundreds of youths at TY Danjuma Foundation’s ‘Career Day 2012’ in Benin City, Edo State capital, however, attributed the high unemployment rate to years of failure at different levels, explaining that “lack of job is a consequence of lack of skills”. The event has as its theme “Developing capacity of youths to build successful careers and businesses”.

The minister, who delivered the keynote address, ‘Overcoming Challenges’, harped on skill acquisition irrespective of educational qualification.

Employers are more interested in what you can do, and not the kind of certificate you have acquired.”

He also took a swipe at a section of the youth who clamour for free tertiary education, noting that “tertiary education cannot be free. Education is an investment. Unless we begin to realise that it cannot be free, quality will be diffused.”

Besides, he announced that the sum of N1.2bn has been captured in the 2012 budget which is aimed at training and grant for youth empowerment programme   in agriculture, ICT and the creative industry, pointing out that “certificate will serve as collateral for  access to the loans”.

Earlier, the executive director of the foundation, Mrs. Thelma Ekiyor, disclosed that the event was meant to prepare the youths to be creators of jobs, even as she expressed the organisation’s readiness to partner with the government on agro-business. She also explained that the organisation has given out financial resources to organisations for projects.

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