Ogoni killings: Rivers PDP condemns Abe’s refusal to honour Reps’ invitation

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RIVERS State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the failure of Senator Magnus Abe to honour the invitation extended him by the House of Representatives on the alleged army invasion and killings in Ogoni communities.

The House of Representatives Committee on Army, as it continued its hearing on the alleged invasion and killings, on Monday, had extended an invitation to the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the legislative rerun election in Rivers South-East Senatorial District.

However, the former lawmaker, in a statement, turned down the invitation to attend the public hearing, alleging that the exercise was at the instigation of the PDP-led government in Rivers State.

This was as he also asked the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara to refrain from further action he alleged was designed to influence the outcome of the forthcoming legislative rerun in the state.

However, Rivers PDP chairman, Mr Felix Obuah, in a statement issued by his media aide, Jerry Needam, on Tuesday, said “When the carnage and pogrom committed by the Nigerian Army at the instance of certain Ogoni opposition politicians against the Ogoni communities, particularly the Yeghe people, in the wake of the recent inconclusive re-run elections in Rivers State was made public, not many believed it.

“To some people, it was a fairy tale. And to others, it was yet another political gimmick to stigmatise certain persons and, or politicians for the purpose of currying political sympathy.

“Not until this evil and inhumanity to man was forced to the notice and sensibility of some responsible Nigerians and the National Assembly by concerned persons and groups that it was considered giving a little attention.

“It only took a few video clips of the heinous actions of the so called soldiers of the Nigerian Army against innocent children and women, including pregnant women murdered with careless abandon as though they were fighting in a battle field that the conscience of most Nigerians was pricked” Obuah said.

The Rivers PDP chairman claimed that the revelations showed that the incident was even grossly under-reported, adding that the National Assembly was, subsequently, moved to invite the Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO) that anchored the petition for an interface.

He said, while the controversy over who gave the unconstitutional order to the Nigerian Army for the killings still subsists, the House of Representatives, in strict adherence to its oversight function and for the sake of justice and posterity, did the right thing to ensure that all facts of the incident and those behind it were unmasked as a way of ensuring an end to such inhuman senseless killing of law abiding Nigerians.

“Rather than appreciate the House of Representatives for initiating the public hearing, Magnus Abe has unwittingly taken on the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, alleging all manner of evil deeds against his person and office.

“He (Magnus) did this simply because the public hearing is expected to expose the facts and offer the majority of Nigerians the opportunity to hear and see how he manipulated soldiers of the Nigerian Army with the obvious backing of his collaborators to kill and maim his own people just to stop them from voting in an election he was sure to lose.

“Very interesting and worthy of note is the description of the killing of Ogoni people as a political narrative which the National Assembly is providing the visual images.