6 May 2013
We are disturbed that over one year after our Deputy General Secretary, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde was gruesomely murdered at his residence in Benin City, Edo State where he was serving his leave of absence and working with the Comrade Governor of the State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as Principal Private Secretary, the Nigerian security agencies have not been able to prosecute anyone for the murder rather, what we have are contradictory claims by the Nigerian Police and the State Security Service that they have some suspects in their custody. Olaitan was murdered in the early hours of Friday 4th May 2012.
This murder is one that has exposed the absolute contradictions in our security agencies; it is inconceivable that two agencies could write two diagonally conflicting reports on the same crime. While the SSS displayed some level of competence and timeliness in their investigation with very few personnel, it is disturbing that that Nigerian Police whose jurisdiction cover crimes of this nature has shown more than enough negligence to attract appropriate sanctions from the government.
We believe the police have interests other than serving public interest in this case.
Our search for investors and quest for economic growth will be threatened in the face of not just insecurity but the clear inability of our security agencies to discharge their duties without fear or favour.
From the testimonies given to the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions by the Police and the SSS high commands, it is clear that the assassins are not only known to the police but they have some of the culprits in their custody but for reasons they are yet to disclose, they are still continuing with the familiar antics of the kind of security agencies that operated during military dictatorship.
For us, this particular case, just like all others before it, exposed the fact that our political leadership is yet to display enough understanding of democracy and the commitment of all structures of government to ensure its success. Democracy is threatened when the fundamental rights of the citizens are treated with impunity. The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights and when this can’t be guaranteed, every sphere of the society is threatened.
There have been too many unresolved murder cases in Nigeria enough to cause any government serious concern. Each unresolved murder case brings out the unfortunate lack of credibility on the part of our security agencies and deny our country and people the much needed peace, social economic growth and confidence in the system.
We urge President Goodluck Jonathan to look at this case and the entire security system as a great challenge to his administration. The security agencies obviously know the truth about what happened to Olaitan and have information about those who carried out the assassination but for reasons Nigerians are yet to be told, they prefer to conceal the truth.
The inability of our security agencies to conclude this case is a major sign that we live in a society where safety of all citizens seems not to be a serious business of government.
We commend the House of Representatives, particularly its Committee on Public Petitions for conducting a very transparent public hearing on this matter and urge them to move a step further by ensuring the committee’s report express the feelings of the Nigerian people and give adequate legislations that will protect the lives of all citizens because when the murder of any citizen is allowed to go unpunished, we will be encouraging anarchy, which is alien to any democracy.
We renew our commitment to the family of our late comrade and we will continue to take every lawful step to ensure that his assassins do not go unpunished.