Benue group demands probe of Zaki Biam, Odi genocide


The Tiv Youth Council worldwide Tuesday demanded the immediate probe of the circumstances that led to the killing of hundreds of Nigerians in Benue and Bayelsa states when former President Olusegun Obasanjo held sway between 1999 -2007.

The group at a press conference in Abuja, argued that it would be in the best interest of the country if those behind the ugly incidence are made to face the wrath of the law.

The group insist that former president Olusegun must be made to state his own side of the story on the issue.

It noted: “We recall with pain, how the former President ordered the massacre of over 1000 civilians by Nigerian soldiers in several villages in Benue state. How will he convince the people of Benue State who under his watch, soldiers assembled in Zaki-Biam and opened fire on innocent and unarmed citizens in broad day light?

” In 2001, the Nigerian Army almost wiped out the whole villages in Logo and Zaki Biam Local Government Areas of Benue State. 

“This heinous act had earlier taken place in Odi, Bayelsa state leaving scores dead. How will the former President face the people of Odi in Rivers state whom soldiers killed under him? On November 20, 1999, the Nigerian military, reportedly acting on the orders of then President Olusegun Obasanjo, invaded Odi, a predominantly Ijaw community in Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area of Bayelsa state and killed many, burning the community to the ground.”

The group maintained that former President Obasanjo lacked the rectitude to describe Nigeria as a failed state going by the spate of unresolved murders that transpired when he administered the country.

Continuing, the group noted: “It is to say the least saddening that as elder Stateman and  former Military and Civilian President,  Obasanjo choose to assemble leaders of ethnic nationalities and sow seeds of division and discord.” 

“His action is a contrived move to awaken ethnic consciousness and promote mutual suspicion amongst the different ethnic groups in the country instead of emphasising nationalism and patriotism to Nigerians, which is expected of a patriot that he claims to be. 

“It was under his leadership that, a cabinet minister, Bola Ige, a serving Attorney General and Minister of Justice who disagreed with him was murdered in cold blood and the killers went scot free giving rise to suspicion that he was complacent. There were several cases of high powered assassination of other prominent Nigerians like Harry Marshall to mention but a few. 

“We feel that Obasanjo is scared of the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari. As a former President, he sees the achievements of Buhari in security, infrastructure, economy, transport and agriculture as intimidating and outweighing his own performance while in office.

“He feels posterity will celebrate President Buhari for redirecting the ship of State and building a more prosperous Nigeria. After writing two damning letters aimed at de- marketing President Buhari in the build up to 2019 elections, Nigerians in their millions and across religious, ethnic, political, interest and regional divides trooped out to re-elect President Buhari to prove their trust and love for him,” the group stressed.

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