Mr. Olaitan Oyerinde, the Principal Private Secretary to Governor Adams Oshimhole, who was assassinated last Friday has been buried in his home town, Ede, Osun State.
The town of the 44-year-old University of Lagos Mass Communication graduate, received visitors from all walks of life, on Thursday, when his remains were brought from Edo State.
The hearse and convoy of vehicles headed straight to the Permanent Orientation Camp, National Youth Service Corps, Ede, for a state burial organised by Osun State Government.
Oyerinde, an activist and political thinker, who was once the Deputy Secretary General, Nigeria Labour Congress, had worked closely with Oshiomhole – when he (Oshiomhole) was the National President of the NLC.
Many youth movements thronged the NYSC orientation camp, where they sang dirges and challenged the Federal Government to check the spate of unresolved killings and violence across the country.
Oshiomhole, who flew to the venue of the event in a helicopter, described Oyerinde as a truthful and dogged fighter.
The governor said he appointed Oyerinde as PPS because the deceased was never afraid to tell him the truth at all times.
Oshiomhole said, “I have not come to shed tears. I have come to celebrate Oyerinde because he lives on despite the machinations of the cowards that killed him. Oyerinde could author a letter and I will sign it with my eyes closed. He could read my mind; he was gifted with words.
“Towards the end of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s first tenure, Oyerinde wrote a letter (on behalf of Labour) to the President over the National Housing Fund which we described as National Housing Fraud.”
Oshiomhole said Obasanjo was displeased with the letter and jocularly said he was going to deal with him (Oshiomhole) after the end of his presidential tenure.
The governor said, “When I was elected as the governor, I felt I needed someone that can look at me in the eyes and tell me the truth. This was why I chose Oyerinde. I never knew he was from Ede because our ideology was beyond ethnic boundaries. Ethnicity meant nothing to Oyerinde.”
Reiterating that Oyerinde’s death had political undertone, Oshiomhole said, “They wanted to get the king but they couldn’t and so they went for his son. Those cowards who operate at night, we will conquer them in broad daylight.
“I will ensure that the family is adequately taken care of. We have decided to name the street of big men after Oyerinde so that whenever the big men, who killed him drive pass, they will see his name.”
The burial service was nearly disrupted when restive youths threw sachets of water at dignitaries in protest against the speech by some labour leaders, who included the NLC National President, Mr. Abdulwahed Omar.
It took the intervention of Oyerinde’s widow, Funke, to douse the anger of the youth who called the national labour union leaders names.
Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, said Nigeria had turned into a banana republic, where nobody was safe. He, therefore, charged the governors of Edo and Osun states, to find Oyerinde’s killers.
In a speech entitled, “A committed revolutionary departs,” Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who was represented by state Head of Service, Mr. Segun Akinwusi, described the slain activist as a rare, quintessential and sincere comrade that lived a purposeful life.
All Nigeria People Party governorship aspirant in Edo State, Mr. Iyobosa Edebiri, in a statement, charged government at all levels to ensure security of lives and property.
Several speakers at the event charged the Federal Government to ensure diligent prosecution of murder suspects.
The speakers included Osun State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Sunday Akere; his Regional Integration counterpart, Mr. Ajibola Basiru; Mr. Omotaje Olawale; another Lagos-based laywer, Bamidele Aturu; Oyerinde’s roommate in UNILAG, Dr. Sylvester Odion; Femi Obayori and Secretary, Ede-North Local Government Council, Mr. Lukman Afolabi.
Oyerinde’s four children, Ikeoluwa, Bukola, Ifeoluwa and Adams – were present at the funeral service led by Pastor O. Olagboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Province 1, Osogbo.
He was laid to rest at his family house located at Ojularede area of Ede amid tears.