Former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lt-Gen Oladipo Diya (rtd) Friay thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for granting him state pardon over his involvement in the 1997 phantom coup and begged that the measure should be extended to other people involved in the saga.
Diya is among some prominent Nigerians including former Bayelsa State Governor, DSP Alamieyeseigha, who were granted state pardon on March 12, a move that elicited mixed reactions in the polity.
Hailing the decision yesterday, Diya said the President had “demonstrated that he is a leader with high sense of fairness, equity and justice. I am really thankful that he allowed God to use his good office to exonerate me finally from the diabolical and unjust treatment meted to me on account of my principled opposition to forces of tyranny in Nigeria.”
Urging pardon for all those involved in the issue, he said “it is no gain saying that both officers and civilians sentenced on the incidence must benefit from this Federal Government benevolence, otherwise it will become a selective state pardon, which will put to question the fate of others not so pardoned.”
To redress the injustice that reigned in the nation then, Diya pleaded with the President to publish and implement the Oputa Panel report.
“This was a panel set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria with state funds and a report was submitted on it. A lot of findings and recommendations were made most specially on the phantom coups of 1995 and 1997.
A similar panel called the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up in the Republic of South Africa. The implementation of that committee report in South Africa has contributed tremendously in stabilizing and putting that country through the path of growth.”