Massive Jubilation In Aso Rock, As Group Drags Obasanjo, Danjuma To ICC
A civil society group has called on the International Crime Court to prosecute former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, and ex-minister of defence, Theophilus Danjuma, over their alleged involvement in the crimes against humanity in Odi area of Bayelsa and Zaki Biam, Benue state between 1999 and 2007.
The Good Governance Advocacy Project said the actions taken by the duo in both areas can be described as crimes against humanity and offences bordering on war crimes.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, November 5, the national president of the group, Danelson Momoh, alleged that it was under Danjuma’s watch as defence minister that troops massacred innocent citizens of Zaki Biam community in Benue state.
Momoh urged Obasanjo and Danjuma to hand themselves in to the International Crime Court of Justice over the massacre of defenceless citizens in their communities.
The group in a petition to the international court said Obasanjo and Danjuma acted below par during the time in office.
Momoh also said the duo interfered with the running of government in ways that would not only jeopardise good governance but could trigger widespread ethno-religious hostilities
He said: “Of note among these yesteryears’ men is former military chief, retired General Theophilus Yakubu (TY) Danjuma who of late has become synonymous with being an inciter of adherents of Christianity in the country to go to war with their neighbours under the guise of ethno-religious killings. He had in the past called on people to take up arms against their neighbours for which he was roundly censored by all well-meaning Nigerians. This does not however seem to have deterred him as he is back to lying bald-facedly.
“TY Danjuma purportedly issued a statement entitled “Choose your own Fulani with care,” in which he alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari is out to massacre the entire north central and southern parts of the so that he can repopulate the same areas with Fulani from other West African countries.
“While this irresponsible statement is condemnable in the strongest terms, the seeming saving grace is that Danjuma has eaten his words and distance himself from the dangerous utterance.
“We, however, want to place on record that it was not enough for him to distance himself from the offensive statement for several reasons.
“One, if he had not been in the business of making divisive utterances, mischief makers would not replicate his style of incitement to attempt doing damage to the country. He has, by the tradition he has created, made Nigeria into a land where ethnic hatred is now being treated as common place.
“We categorically state this because historically, it was Dajuma’s regime as Defence Minister under the then President Olusegun Obasanjo that troops were massacre innocent citizens of Zaki Biam community in Benue state.
“Much as the history of what happened in Zak Ibiam is being re-written to obscure the actual drivers of that pogrom, Ty Danjuma knows that the genocide that took place there was never about national security but was about protecting narrow interests that were not intended for the benefit of the larger population.
“He and Obasanjo remain the architect of the genocide in Zak Ibiam, which was not their only crime because they also jointly masterminded the scorched-earth pogrom at Odi. These actions were the foundation that sowed the seeds of discord amongst the various ethnic groups in Nigeria,” the group said.
This development, sources say sparked jubilation by some AsoRock staff