Odi/Zaki-Biam Massacres:Probe Obasanjo,Danjuma Now,Group Tells UN, ICC
The Good Governance Advocacy Project, a Civil Society Organization has called on the United Nations and International Criminal Court to investigate, prosecute and convict former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and erstwhile Minister of Defence TY Danjuma, for alleged involvement in war crimes and other offenses against humanity that took place at various times between 1999 and 2007.
The group is calling on the international bodies to probe Obasanjo and Danjuma for alleged their involvement in crimes against humanity and offences bordering on war crimes in Odi area of Bayelsa and Zaki Biam, Benue State.
Addressing newsmen on Tuesday, Patriot Danelson Momoh, National President of the group recalled that it was Dajuma’s regime as Defence Minister under the then President Olusegun Obasanjo that troops massacred innocent citizens of Zaki Biam community in Benue State.
It, therefore, called on Obasanjo and Danjuma to hand themselves in to the ICC over the massacre of defenceless citizens in their communities.
He said, “The Project is concerned with recent trends where persons that has acted below par when they were in public office interfere with the running of government in ways that would not only jeopardize good governance but could trigger widespread ethno-religious hostilities as they pitch one group in the country against the other. Instead of being elder statesmen as would be expected of them in their twilight they have resorted to heating up the polity and making demands of the current dispensation that they were never able to fulfil in their own times.
“Of note among these yesteryears’ men is former military chief, retired General Theophilus Yakubu (TY) Danjuma who of late has become synonymous with being an inciter of adherents of Christianity in the country to go to war with their neighbours under the guise of ethno-religious killings. He had in the past called on people to take up arms against their neighbours for which he was roundly censored by all well-meaning Nigerians. This does not however seem to have deterred him as he is back to lying bald-facedly.
“TY Danjuma purportedly issued a statement entitled “Choose your own Fulani with care,” in which he alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari is out to massacre the entire north central and southern parts of the so that he can repopulate the same areas with Fulani from other West African countries. While this irresponsible statement is condemnable in the strongest terms, the seeming saving grace is that Danjuma has eaten his words and distance himself from the dangerous utterance.
We, however, want to place on record that it was not enough for him to distance himself from the offensive statement for several reasons. One, if he had not been in the business of making divisive utterances, mischief makers would not replicate his style of incitement to attempt doing damage to the country. He has, by the tradition he has created, made Nigeria into a land where ethnic hatred is now being treated as common place.
We categorically state this because historically, it was Dajuma’s regime as Defence Minister under the then President Olusegun Obasanjo that troops were massacre innocent citizens of Zaki Biam community in Benue state. Much as the history of what happened in Zak Ibiam is being re-written to obscure the actual drivers of that pogrom, Ty Danjuma knows that the genocide that took place there was never about national security but was about protecting narrow interests that were not intended for the benefit of the larger population.
He and Obasanjo remain the architect of the genocide in Zak Ibiam, which was not their only crime because they also jointly masterminded the scorched-earth pogrom at Odi. These actions were the foundation that sowed the seeds of discord amongst the various ethnic groups in Nigeria. “
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