THIS is certainly not the best of times for former Governor Peter Odili of Rivers State. An autobiographical account of the medical doctor turned politician, Conscience and History is drawing the ire of some political groups in the state, bracing to make public the dark side of the Odili administration.
Odili dominated the affairs of Rivers State for eight years (1999-2007) as governor on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Within the Odili years, there were some controversial high profile assassinations the law enforcement agencies were not able to resolve.
While the Odili book is coming under attack for allegedly being economical with the truth of what happened in the state under his watch, the ex-governor is also not forthcoming with clarifications on the matter to text messages sent to his cellphone.
The Rivers Regeneration Forum (RRF), a civil society group with interest in good governance and accountability, says the former governor has to take responsibility for certain alleged security lapses that took place under his watch, especially those relating to electoral violence and cultism. These menace however, escalated during the Odili years.
Spokesperson of the group, Nathan Dakoru, told this reporter in an online interview that the incursion of violence, cultism and political assassinations in Rivers politics can be traceable to the Odili era. ‘’The ex-governor was publicly accused of sponsoring cult groups to hold the state hostage’’.
According to the group, ‘’facts at our disposal tend to depict the book as a mere ego rendition with a covert intent to scuttle history in favour of the author, and hoodwink its readership. We have been wondering since we laid our hands on the book why the author conveniently refused to touch on the series of public allegations by Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo against him and his political associates as sponsors of cultism in the state’’.
They have also observed that the former governor did not make mention of the ‘’infamous Government House intrigue in the arms-for-cash scandal that led to the death of a Government House driver.
They have equally observed that while it was convenient for the author to meticulously outline the various chieftaincy and land disputes before he assumed office, he failed to apply same with the alleged political assassinations that began with Monday Ndor, a state legislator who died in some questionable circumstances.
By Akanimo Sampson