afenifere wants oputa report

No Comments » December 28th, 2006 posted by // Categories: All about the Oputa Panel (HRVIC)

Afenifere Wants Oputa Panel
Report Released

This Day

December 9, 2004

Posted to the web December 10, 2004

Ndubuisi Ugah

Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation has called on the Federal
Government to expedite action in releasing the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa-led
Human Rights Violations and Investigative Panel findings and recommendations, as
failure to do that would “expose Nigeria as a banditry state where state power
is solely organised to shield criminals”.

group’s position, which came barely five years after the panel was inaugurated,
said with the release of the Oputa recommendations, President Olusegun Obasanjo
would have assuaged the feelings of Nigerians as well as restore the confidence
reposed by Nigerians in the ability of the panel to carry out its functions

Afenifere, in a statement signed by ‘Yinka Odumakin, National Publicity
Secretary its, “demands the immediate official release of the Oputa panel’s
report and its implemendation. This is the only way the Obasanjo government can
convince Nigerians that it is not using the state to shield abusers of human

group explained that the none release of the panel’s report had made Nigerians
look at the present administration as not being sincere in its ability to fight
human rights abuses in the country.

According to Odumakin, “the unofficial release of the report has helped
reasonable people to make some conclusions that the indictment of powerful
forces has made the President to eat his words of ‘stepping on toes’ when he
assumed office in 1999″.

stated that “the replication of many of the atrocities of the past between 1999
and now could have made the President conscious of the fact that if past rulers
were called to account for the actions, the present would also surely pass”.

In view
of this, Afenifere said the federal government had no sufficient basis to want
to deny Nigerians the release of the panel’s report, adding that “but none of
the grounds is sufficient to deny the people of Nigeria what they want: Justice.
At the core of this is the reality that not punishing the evils of the past is a
licence for perpetrators of new acts”.

observed that “the very reason why crime is becoming more prevalent in our
society is the slow rate of punishing the guilty. There are many people ready to
delete human lives because so many assassinations have remained riddles”.

He said
“when President Obasanjo set up the panel headed by the highly regarded Jurist,
Justice Chukwudifu Oputa in 1999, there was a sense of hope that our own ‘Truth
and Reconciliation Commission’ was here at last”, a situation he added “explains
why many victims of human rights abuses went to the utmost level to make their
cases before the panel”.

organisation however, expressed sadness at the turn of events, emphasising that
“there was no ‘Mandela’ in the land”.

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