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Niger delta crises claims 2000 lives

Rivers State Governor Amaechi, told a crowd of stakeholders yesterday that, said Dokubo-Asari and Ateke confessed before former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that over 2,000 people have died as a result of their violent rivalry.

Receiving the report of the Justice Kayode Esho led Rivers State Truth and Recociliation Commission, Amaechi said:
“If you know me, you will also know the difficulties I had in trying to find a solution to the security crisis in this state. You will know that I have said on several occasions that I was in a meeting with Dr. Peter Odili, with Prince Uche Secondus, Ateke Tom, Asari Dokubo, Tonye Harry, I don’t know whether Chief Ake was in that meeting or not, when both Ateke Tom and Asari Dokubo confessed before former President Olusegun Obasanjo, that was the first day of my life to step into the Villa, that they have killed over 2,000 persons.

“I have called names so that you will know that there were witnesses on that occasion. I said that because several people have asked; ‘you were in that government, what did you do?’

“I was part of that government that has so far been written about in this report and I will not deny the government. I held a very important position in that government, I was one of the closest men to Dr. Odili, but anybody who worked in that government will tell you that I complained,” he explained.

In his speech, Justice Eso traced the origin of the crisis that claimed so many lives and spilled so much blood to governance, politics, cultism, chieftaincy and insurgency.

He said the commission successfully reconcilled 15 communities in the state that had hitherto killed and maimed one another, adding that 22 more cases were successfully settled.

He appealed to the state government not to let the work of reconciliation stop with the closure of the commission, noting that this would be a repeat of one of the mistakes of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, after which that of the state was patterned.

Justice Eso also took the time to correct the view that the commission was set up by the state governor to fight political foes, rather, he said it was the brainchild of other stakeholders in the state, an idea entirely different to what the governor had proposed.

With reports from