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Thursday, March 01, 2018

1999 Odi Massacre: The Bayelsa People Will Never Forgive Former President Obasanjo

November 20, 1999 is a day that will never be forgotten by the Bayelsa people in a hurry as that was the day Odi massacre was carried out by the Nigerian military on the predominantly Ijaw town of Odi town, Bayelsa State and those who never heard of it because of age factor, the state popular and most successful musician Timaya loud it once more in his debut album "Dem Mama" that sold millions of copies in the early 2000's.

By the time the military operation ended, almost 5,000 people including children and women where recorded and pronounce dead and many more were injured, displaced, traumatized and an inestimable number of properties were lost.

 The immediate reason for these grave human rights atrocities was that a band of lawless youths operating from Odi, Bayelsa state, murdered seven policemen despite swift intervention of the Ijaw leaders to get things sorted out prove obviously abortive including the President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC).
Rumours suggested that the massacre was ordered by the regime of former president Olusegun

Ever since the Odi massacre there has never been any report or news of former President Olusegun
Aremu Obasanjo stepping his feets on the Bayelsa soil until recently that the now Governor of the state Seriake Dickson invited the former President to the state for some reasons and it didn't go down well with Bayelsa born activist and former Minister for Environment, AnnKio Briggs, who didn't hesitate to attacked the Governor for ever inviting the former president to the same land he killed thousands of people.

Obviously angered Briggs, made it clear that Obasanjo didn't support Bayelsa born former President, Goodluck Jonathan President because of his love for Ijaw and Niger Delta, but for self-interest.

Furthering describing the former president as an enemy of the Niger Delta region, Briggs
 warned that anyone from the state who is with Obasanjo to "fight" President Muhammadu Buhari, does so at his or her own risk.

Briggs, in a statement also vowed that the
 people of the region will not cast votes for Buhari in next 2019 Presidential election and is not because Obasanjo is a against Buhari re-running as he has no right to advice the Bayelsa people on who or who not to vote for.

She said:

 "His (Obasanjo) visit confirms that Ijaw politicians are in politics for themselves and not Ijaw nation.

"Obasanjo should have been taken to Odi before he leaves Bayelsa to enable those who survived the Odi massacre confer on him a traditional title."

She said the visit of the former president was 
"dancing on the graves", of the thousands he order their death back in 1999 when he was president.

 "May the over 4000 innocent Odi women, men, old and young, youths and children who were shelled, bombed, drowned, and murdered by Olusegun Obasanjo through the Nigeria Army haunt him.
"He did not pick Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as Vice President for the love of Ijaw or Niger Delta people, he did not support him in 2011 for love of Ijaw or Niger Delta people, but did so for his own selfish reasons, and when Jonathan did not be please him as president, he turned against him."
Reacting to Obasanjo’s advice to President Buhari not to run for second term, Briggs said:
"He is getting set to fight Buhari and he is pretending to be a friend of Ijaw and Niger Delta people. 
"Anyone who joins Obasanjo to fight Buhari is doing so at his or her own risk, Ijaw people will not vote for Buhari and we don’t need Obasanjo to tell us that."

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