Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State today obliquely referred to Tony Anenih a member of PDP’S board of trustees as the mastermind of the assassination of his private secretary.
In a tearful speech, the governor said, “a certain old man, in his 80s, a godfather, in Edo state is the mastermind of the assassination of Olaitan Oyerinde.”
Even though he stopped short of mentioning Chief Anenih’s name, sources within the Edo State government are accusing Tony Anenih of being behind the horrific act.
Olaitan Oyerinde, the Principal Private Secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State, was assassinated at his home in the early hours of Friday, May 4.
“Chief Anenih has a nest of killers at his disposal, and we believe he was behind this cowardly act,” said a senior aide of Mr. Oshiomole.
According to this aide as well as other officials of Edo State, Mr. Anenih had sworn to wrest the reins of power in Edo State from Governor Oshiomole and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) “by all means necessary.”
Mr. Anenih has a reputation as an expert in the use of violence to achieve political aims, especially in stealing elections. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had articulated the approach as a “do-or-die affair”.
“Believe me, we know that Chief Anenih is the chief architect of this homicidal quest by the PDP to seize power in Edo State.”
The allegations are strengthened by a recent encounter between Louis Odion, the Edo State Commissioner for Information, and Mr. Anenih, when they recently ran into each other at the palace of the Oba of Benin, the PDP chieftain threatened to “deal with him soon.” A few days after the alleged encounter, Mr. Odion, a former newspaper columnist, barely and providentially escaped an assassination attempt—because he was invited to the home of his colleague after a late night meeting.
Several sources said assassins visited Mr. Odion’s home around the same time that the assassins who killed Oyerinde struck. “The killers couldn’t find Odion because he had stayed the night in the house of a colleague,” said a source. The source added, “The Commissioner for Information owes his life to his decision not to go home that night.” Our sources disclosed that Mr. Odion suspects that the assassination attempt was directly linked to the threat issued by Mr. Anenih.
Shortly after Mr. Odion revealed the assassination attempt, there was an attack on the governor’s convoy. “That attack was premeditated,” said on source. Three journalists in the convoy lost their lives in the attack, which the governor told the media was an assassination attempt.
Even though elements within the PDP wanted the world to believe that what happened to Oshiomole’s convoy was an accident, the assassination of Mr. Oyerinde, the governor’s chief strategist, is seen as the validation of “the elaborate plan by the PDP to eliminate as many people as they can around the governor, if not the governor himself. The whole plan is to be able to create fear and muddle the waters before the coming elections, which they know they cannot win”, said a source close to the governor.
On his part, Professor Wole Soyinka deplored the killing of Mr. Oyerinde, vowing, “the agents of darkness and retrogression will not triumph.”
In a text message on the issue, Mr. Soyinka said, “The hand of the assassin is clear as day. It reaches all the way back to the killing of Bola Ige. Please convey my deepest condolences to his (Oyerinde’s) widow, children and colleagues.”
*Excerpts from SaharaReporters.*