The Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation on Saturday kicked-off campaign for the re-election of Adams Oshiomhole, barely 24 hours after the assassination of the governor’s close aide, Olaitan Oyerinde.
Mr. Olaitan, the principal private secretary to Mr. Oshiomhole was on Friday morning murdered by four gunmen in his Ogbor GRA residence in Benin.
His remains is still in Benin while friends, associates and family members make arrangements to move it to Ede, Osun state, his home town, for burial.
The campaign organization’s director general, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, at a news conference at the Aguobasimwin campaign office in Benin on Friday, admitted that Mr. Oyerinde’s murder had triggered “reasonable cause for concern” but that the rallies would go ahead notwithstanding.
The campaign indeed kicked off at the Kings Square in Benin City, despite the heavy downpour Saturday morning.
Life goes on
Seven days ago, three journalists in the governor’s convoy were killed in an accident government officials believe was masteminded by opposition elements to force the governor to cancel his trip to Auchi, where he was to officially kick off his reelection campaign.
After learning of the killing of Mr. Oyerinde in Abuja on Friday, the governor returned to Benin City that same afternoon and told protesting supporters that the killing would not stop the campaigns.
“… because their plan is to make us postpone (our campaign) again for the second time, we will go ahead because Olaitan in his lifetime was a fighter,” he told supporters. “I ask you not to be afraid, don’t be intimidated, don’t give up, if anything we should be more resolved.”
At the campaign arena, the governor reeled out his achievements – all the projects he has so far executed in the Edo South senatorial district, promising to do more if reelected.
He did not say a word about the assassination of his aide.
The campaign director, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, however, re-lived Olaitan’s murder during the rally citing other threats they perceive from the opposition People’s Democratic Party.
The governor had the previous day accused leaders of the PDP of masterminding the murder of his aide.
Mr. Ize-Iyamu added that the opposition also plans to bomb its rallies, kill more government officials and intimidate the governor into the elections scheduled for July 14.
Dan Orbih, Edo state PDP chairman could not be reached to react to the allegation as phone calls were not answered and text messages sent to his phone were not replied to.