April 20, 2016

Ogoni killings: Reps C’ttee to summon Army


House of Representatives

As PDP, APC bicker over c’ttee

By Gbenga Oke & Davies Iheamnachor

PORT HARCOURT—The House of Representatives Committee on Army says it will summon the Nigerian Army for interrogation over its reported involvement in the killings in Ogoni, Rivers State, on February 22 and 23.

A delegate from the House of Representatives Committee on Army had arrived Rivers State for a two-day fact finding visit based on a petition sent to it by the Civil Liberty Organisation, CLO, on the alleged massacre of people in Ogoni by soldiers.

Recall that soldiers from the 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, in a bid to stamp out arms running in communities in the state had allegedly raided some criminal hideouts in Yeghe community, Gokana and Bori, in Khana Local Government Area of the state,  killing several people and demolishing about two houses including the house of an ex-militant leader, Mr. Solomon Ndigbara.

Speaking, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, shortly after visiting the affected communities, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Army, Mr. Rima Kwewun, said the summons was for the committee to hear the Army’s version of the story.

Meanwhile, the state  All Progressives Congress, APC, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, accused each over the House Committee’s visit to the state.

While APC accused Governor Nyesom Wike of trying to  blackmail and stampede the Nigerian Army out of Ogoniland ahead of the rerun elections in Rivers South-East senatorial zone, it alleged that Wike was trying to hound the military out of the zone to pave way for cultists, ex-militants and hoodlums with a view to preventing the people from exercising their voting rights.

PDP on its part, accused the  APC of  wasting its time making frivolous claims and blackmailing Governor Wike over a well intended fact finding visit being undertaken by the National Assembly members.

PDP, in a statement by its state chairman, Felix Obuah, said that APC’s position was an admission that it actually deployed soldiers in Ogoniland and the entire state during the March 19, 2016 re-run elections to do everything to deliver its candidates in the elections, saying: “We find this fact finding mission by the National Assembly members as a process aimed at giving justice to the people of Ogoni, who have been made to suffer undue abuses and killed for no just cause.”