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– Statement by Comrades of Olaitan Oyerinde  

Nigerians woke up to yet another unprovoked, unwarranted and gruesome assassination on Friday, 4th May, 2012. This time, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde; a foremost revolutionary activist and political thinker of unassuming posture who radiated a most sublime and quintessential love for the masses became the victim of the evil machination of political snipers that have held Nigeria in perpetual bondage under a supposed democratic system. Until his unfortunate death, Comrade Oyerinde was the Personal Secretary to the Comrade Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole. It is evident that the murder of Oyerinde in his home in Benin City, Edo state has political undertone. In a most callous manner, the assailants invaded the privacy of his family and unleashed psychological trauma on the wife and children. This unfortunate incident has again confirmed that Nigeria is indeed a failed State. More worrisome is that the powers behind the nefarious act still went ahead, unrestrained and unchecked, despite widely publicized allegations of insecurity and tell-tales of assassination attempts targeted against top officials of Edo State government; including the state Chief Executive and supposed Chief Security Officer.

We recall that the spate of political assassinations in the country had become heightened following the return to civil rule in 1999. The long list of unresolved assassination in the country has not only become a national embarrassment but there is also a growing trend of unbridled animosity within the rank and file political class which is capable of fueling assassination. This ugly dimension of political elimination, no doubt, portends grave danger for the polity and threatens the survival of the already troubled democracy. If this situation continues, the country and her citizens are at tempestuous risk of chaotic decline of security.  This precisely is the fate of our dear Comrade Oyerinde in the hands of the political class that ought to guarantee him security in the face of political degeneration and insecurity in Edo State.

The death of Oyerinde is a huge loss to Nigeria’s left movement and progressive platforms.  Of course, the pain of this tragic loss could only be imagined by those who are not familiar with the central role he played in the student movement, revolutionary platforms, human rights and pro-democracy forums, labour unions and the progressive wing of Nigeria’s politics. Oyerinde was an embodiment of knowledge and rudiments of revolutionary activism. He deployed his knowledge and analytical skills into shaping programmes and actions of several organisations in his life time. At a crucial moment in the history of Nigeria, Oyerinde provided leadership for the student movement as the Secretary General of Progressive Youth Movement of Nigeria (PYMN). He was at a time the Chairman of Campaign for Democracy (CD) in Lagos state and was also one of the long serving members of the Research team of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR). He played pivotal roles in other organizations including the Gani Fawehinmi Solidarity Association (GFSA), Pan-African Youth Congress (PAYCO), Oodua Youth Movement (OYM), United Action for Democracy (UAD) and Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASACO). Oyerinde joined the Nigeria Labour Congress at a critical time the umbrella union of Nigerian workers was in dire need of new direction that would approximate the expectations of workers and Nigerians in general.  He joined the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) following meritorious stint at Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSAN) where he was Assistant Secretary General.

Comrade Oyerinde was persuaded to team up with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole when the democratic mandate of the people of Edo state was restored in 2008. Though not a politician and indigene of Edo state, he accepted the offer to serve purely out of on genuine intention to invest democracy with honest and decent leadership through pro-people policies and programmes.  Comrade Oyerinde accepted the call to serve and he truly measured up to the expectations of comrades, friends and good people of Edo State. He was killed in the line of duty by forces of retrogression determined to undermine genuine democracy in Edo state and by extension, Nigeria.  There are overwhelming reasons to believe that Comrade Oyerinde was unduly exposed to the danger of political elimination through the conspiracy of Nigerian security apparatuses. There was no doubt that the vampires in Edo were blood-thirsty, but the security system played critical role in providing the convenience for the machination of the evil agenda of this very assassination.

The fate of Oyerinde like many before him should not be allowed to continue unchecked. This trend which is not limited to Edo State portends present and clear signal of the dangers ahead. It has therefore become a matter of critical consideration for all Nigerians to treat security as personal responsibility. It is in the light of this that we are compelled to put the blame for the untimely death of our comrade squarely on the political class whose inordinate crave for power at the expense of decency and moderation has become a major albatross of genuine democratic consolidation. We wish to assert that assassination of Olaitan Oyerinde would not, under any circumstances, be swept under the carpet. We would not accept this as another case of unsolved murder that would merely swell the list of victims of assassination. Olaitan Oyerinde in his life time, radiated such simplicity and spirit of freedom that leaves us wondering why any Homo Sapiens worthy of the nomenclature “human” would want to hurt how much more snuff life out of him, convincing us that those who did this were indeed beasts that must be removed from the midst of humans. We therefore wish to demand as follow:

  1. Thorough investigation and prosecution of all persons remotely or directly connected with the assassination of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde.
  2. Immediate and unconditional investigation and overhauling of security network in Edo State.
  3. Enactment of necessary laws that would grant Nigerians access to personal arms and self-defence.


-We celebrate a foremost revolutionary of our time!

-We condemn all forms of assassinations!

-We Demand Justice on the assassination of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde!


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