Odi protests over non-payment of N37.6bn damages by FG

By The Citizen

The people of Odi in Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa, on Friday protested against the against non-payment of N37.6bn damages awarded it by a Federal High Court.

The Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, had in February 2013, ruled that the Federal Government should pay the amount as compensation for the Nov. 1999 military invasion of the community.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the demonstrators, who carried placards with various inscriptions, chanted songs in their dialect while blocking the major roads.

Some women among them wore sack clothes and rolled on bare ground on major roads in the state capital.

Youths carried a mock coffin in remembrance of those who died in the invasion.

Stakeholders, including Niger Delta human rights organisations and activists, Civil Liberties Organisation, amongst others, participated in the protest.

A retired Federal Permanent Secretary, Dr Timiebi Koripamo-Agary, said Odi had yet to recover from the aftermath of the invasion.

'We have won all our cases and the court had ordered that money should be paid to us.

'We are not happy with Jonathan because if the court had given judgment, he should have complied with it in the spirit of the rule of law.

'If they had not reported to Mr President, we want to inform him through our protest'', she said.

NAN reports that community leaders ensured that the demonstration was peaceful and the busy East-West Road cleared after 20 minutes of barricade.