Posted by By Jimitota Onoyume on
GOVERNOR Peter Odili of Rivers State has announced a special employment quota in the state civil service for the Ogoni.
PORT HARCOURT — GOVERNOR Peter Odili of Rivers State has announced a special employment quota in the state civil service for the Ogoni. This is part of effort to properly reintegrate them into the mainstream of the nation’s life. It would be recalled that the area suffered crisis in the early part 1990s which consumed some of their finest men.
The governor said those willing to pick up the offer in the state civil service should just apply directly to his office. Odili who also made a donation of five million naira to each of the thirteen families who lost their relations in the crisis assured that his government would aid the physically challenged in the area to earn a living.
Also, the governor wrote off the transport fare of relations of the deceased who came from abroad for last week’s memorial programme which was attended by President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Odili who spoke in Brick House on Monday evening at a special session with families of the thirteen thanked President Obasanjo for his personal commitment towards the peace and reconciliatory process.
He said it was this spirit that made him to physically attend last week’s memorial service in honor of the fallen heroes of the area and the nation.
He also thanked Rev Father Matthew Kukah for finding time to serve as facilitator of a Presidential Committee on Ogoni/Shell Reconciliation.
In their separate remarks, some relatives of the Ogoni thirteen like Joseph Kobani, Alex Badey, and Mrs. Blessing Kpuynien said their respective families had put the past behind them even as they thanked the president, Governor Odili and others for their role in seeing that the reconciliation was a reality.
On his part, Rev Father Kukah described the development in Ogoni as a challenge to other crisis-ridden areas in the country.
He said without peace, there can be no meaningful development just as he acknowledged the rare zeal of the President and the governor to pursue the peace process.
He also enjoined other parts of the country to embrace the non-violent approach of the Ogoni towards tabling their issues.
Meanwhile, President Obasanjo had at the Memorial service in Ogoni land said moves were on to grant state pardon to those consumed in the crisis. He said the Ministry of Justice was on the issue.
It is clear he was referring to the seasoned environmentalist and novelist Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other eight who were judicially murdered by the military junta.
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