The chairman of the Rivers state truth and reconciliation commission, Justice Kayode Eso has presented the final report of its proceedings to the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amechi. Justice Eso said its work had helped in the reconciling of 15 warring communities in Rivers State.

The erudite jurist however had harsh words for the former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili for failing to protect the people of oku-lama who were caught in a backlash with military authorities. The two- day military operation had left several people homeless and properties worth millions of naira destroyed. Justice Eso berated the ex-Governor for failing to offer compensation to the people even after it was discovered that security forces had been guilty of excessive use of force

The 591-page report also highlighted several areas including; economy, militancy, multi-national oil companies and cultism. The commission’s chairman however failed to reveal any recommendations it made in the several cases brought before it during his presentation

The commission had started shakily and was shrouded in controversy when Dr. Odili had accused the incumbent Governor of witch-hunting. Odili had thereafter failed to appear before the commission at Port-Harcourt saying he was afraid for his life. A special arrangement which saw him appear in Abuja failed to provide answers to the several questions posed at him

Just stopping short of indicting him, Justice Eso had accused the former Governor of over-paying armed insurgents in a money-for-weapons exchange deal. The Governor wasn’t the only one who got scathed in the report. The traditional ruler of Bonny kingdom was accused of not only failing to honour the tribunal but of gross abuses of power

Governor Rotimi Amaechi was sombre as he received the report, saying that he was a part of the previous administration and was pained when his suggestions for better welfare and security weren’t taken seriously. The governor said the state was headed nowhere if it continued supporting brigandage saying that Elders and parents had a responsibility to report militant youths to security operatives even if they were their wards

The 5 man panel which began sitting in June 2008 was set up to probe alleged human rights abuses in the state in the last 11 years. A three-year insurgency by militants fighting for greater control of crude-oil resources has left the Niger Delta pauperized and Nigeria’s oil production output cut by at least 25% and foreign investors fleeing in droves out of the Delta



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: