Odi Leaders Blast Obasanjo Over Lekki Shooting Comments

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Nigeria

By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna

Some leaders in Odi community of Bayelsa state under the aegis of Concerned Citizens of Odi have berated former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his recent comments on the shooting incident in Lekki.

The community leaders said the former president is not in a situation to speak on the activities of a military invasion.

The group was reacting to the Odi massacre which was carried out on November 20, 1999, by the Nigerian military on the predominantly Ijaw town of Odi in Bayelsa state.

The attack under the Obasanjo administration came in the context of an ongoing conflict in the Niger Delta over indigenous rights to oil resources and environmental protection.

Obasanjo recently made comments on the Lekki shooting incident.

But a statement signed by several Odi leaders including the community’s women leader; Ebimoweni Kemepade, deputy king of Odi; Chief Prenus Ogboin, the Youth president Ikposuoyeski Inemike and CDC chairman, Odi, Goddey Niweigha, among others, demanded an unreserved apology from the former president.

Part of the statement read: “The trauma that Odi went through under President Obasanjo is still fresh in living memory.

“The Nigerian Army moved in tanks, the Nigerian Navy moved in warships and the Nigerian Air Force was overheads.

“All the force of the Nigerian federation was unleashed on the sleepy and unarmed rural community of Odi. All because some young people dared to ask for their rights. It was a time no one in Odi wishes to recall.

“Definitely, there are some lectures that ‘Professor’ Obasanjo may not be qualified to deliver, especially a lecture on how to disperse a peaceful protest without violence.’’

The group stated that Obasanjo owes the people of Odi an unreserved apology, adding that his recent comments are like adding salt to injury on their people.

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