Justice At Last For Odi People!

The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates' Confraternity) hails the recent judgment of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, which ordered the Federal Government to pay N36.7billion as compensation to the victims of the November 20, 1999 military invasion of Odi community in Bayelsa State.

NAS views this judgment as a triumph for the rule of law, fundamental human rights and democracy. Its implementation within the 21 days stipulated by the court would be a litmus test for the Jonathan administration's much-touted respect for the rule of law. NAS urges the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure that it fully implements all the terms of the judgment within the time stipulated by the court.

While we congratulate the people of Odi for their painstaking pursuit of justice and the enforcement of their fundamental human rights through the court, we caution them to be united in victory and eschew greed and strife which often comes on the heels of such a huge monetary compensation. Due commendation must also be accorded the judiciary for living up to their much vaunted reputation as the last bastion of hope for the common man. NAS is of the hope that this momentous decision will be a beacon light for all those that are oppressed in our dear country.

NAS seizes this opportunity to remind the Federal Government that the N41.8billion compensation awarded the people of Zaki-Ibiam in Benue State by the Federal High Court in Enugu [as damages for an event similar to Odi] almost six years ago is yet to be paid by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

NAS demands the prosecution of all those responsible for these genocidal actions perpetrated against defenseless Nigerians. NAS wishes to canvass for a more professionalized Nigerian Army, where call to duty will not be an excuse to visit terror on defenseless Citizens of Nigerians. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Ide Owodiong-Idemeko

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