Metaphor for Olaitan Oyerinde…

by Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku

Since May 4, 2012 when the late principal secretary to Adams Oshiomhole, Olaitan Oyerinde’s life was cut short, the question on everyone’s lips and minds has been: Who Killed Olaitan Oyerinde? It was this kind of question that was asked again and again when Dele Giwa was bombed in Lagos. The paper he worked for at that time carried Dele Giwa’s photo for as long as I can remember, asking: WHO KILLED DELE GIWA? Up till this moment as I write this, all we have are speculations, speculations and speculations. One of such speculations is that the man knew something related to the involvement of an oga on top in the drug business. At the end of the day, only two men close to the oga on top at that time were fingered…no, they were not fingered – fingers were pointed at them. So at the end, only fingers were pointed. Nothing significant in the form of arrests and prosecutions and incarcerations took place.

In the other celebrated death of Marshal Harry, the dead-end trend of the investigations behind the unfortunate killings continued. Marshall Harry was a prominent member of the ruling party, the PDP. Word had it that he too knew something that could rattle and shake the timbers of the ogas at the top. In very curious circumstances, the poor chap was mowed down in what seemed a carefully choreographed operation. He too enjoyed the epitaph of his photograph being paraded on the pages of Daily Independent, for as long as I can remember. But nothing as usual came out of the matter. Nobody was arrested. Nobody was prosecuted. Nobody is facing a life sentence. Nothing…

These assassinations and the manner they are carried out seemed to bear credence to the allegations making the rounds that these are state-sponsored assassinations of Nigerians considered thorns in the flesh of the administrations in place when these assassinations take place. Also, after the assassination of Bola Ige, an attorney-general and minister of justice, the Obasanjo-led government set up probe after probe and committee after committee to look into that death but the whole thing resembled a massive cover-up turned inside out. It looked like the Watergate itself.

Therefore, when everyone was asking the question at the top of this discussion, I was not asking it. And I will tell you why. The WHO of the matter is not the problem – from the way the police arranged matters in their attempt to frame the Rev. David Ugolor, it should be crystal clear that if the people who murdered Olaitan Oyerinde were like the people who murdered a Cynthia Osukogwu, quick, quick, we should have had the real suspects in custody by now. And so, because the people who killed Oshiomhole’s principal secretary are people in the corridors of power, why is anyone still asking the question – WHO DID? Everybody knows that the police killed the poor chap and tried to frame his friend and brother, Rev. David Ugolor, as the mastermind of that dastardly act.

So for me, the question that I think we should be asking is this: Why are the police who did this still walking free? Why is the attorney general shielding them?

I never met Olaitan Oyerinde in person. I have also never met his boss Adams Oshiomhole. But from what I gather, they were inseparable like a David and a Jonathan if you understand my drift. I understand that they fought shoulder to shoulder to defend us all against the whims and caprices of the ogas then that were at the top. And curiously as well, nobody, apart from his boss and friend are fighting to get to the bottom of that shameful and despicable act – Olaitan Oyerinde’s photograph has not appeared in any national paper as consistently as the others who were assassinated before him did, with the question mark as to why the people who ordered his assassination did. But I can assure you that in my silence, in your silence as well, we have betrayed ourselves to the extent that even when we know the truth, we have not allowed it set us free. We seem to have lost our ability to bring truth to power and demand for a restoration of the values that such needless and callous deaths bring us.

But we all must repent. We must not allow these people who take life at whim continue to do so, no we mustn’t. We must insist that these cover-ups and abracadabras, the hallmark of murder investigation that lead high up, or to prominent Nigerians must take their full course – even if it is the oga on top who is involved. But how can we do this, if indeed we are to get out of this self-inflicted lethargic stupor of dothingism?

Since February 14 when the National Assembly conducted a public hearing on the dastardly murder of Olaitan Oyerinde, we have not heard the outcome. And that is why we must make calls to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar and ask hard questions. We must petition the attorney general and minister of justice and remind him as well that that position he occupies is as temporal as morning dew. We must post our comments on Facebook and on Twitter, and when the time when the civil liberty people call on us, we must be ready to down tools and demand for the authorities to prosecute without any further ado, those who really pulled the trigger that killed Olaitan Oyerinde. Justice must be served…

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