Where is Lt. Col. Dauda Musa Komo?

Sunday Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Fidelis Mac-Leva

He held sway in the Nige­rian Army serv­ing in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties, in­clud­ing as Ad­min­is­tra­tor of Rivers State un­til in Au­gust 1996 when he was re­lieved of that job. Af­ter the restora­tion of democ­racy in May 1999, Lt. Colonel Dauda Komo was forced to re­tire from the army, as were all other for­mer mil­i­tary ad­min­is­tra­tors. But un­like many of his con­tem­po­raries in the Nige­rian Army who have re­mained quite vis­i­ble in the coun­try af­ter re­tire­ment, es­pe­cially on the po­lit­i­cal turf, Lt. Colonel Dauda Musa Komo ap­pears to be miss­ing in ac­tion.

Se­quel to his re­tire­ment, Komo re­mained less vis­i­ble un­til on Jan­uary, 23, 2001, when he made ap­pear­ance at the Jus­tice Oputa Hu­man Rights Vi­o­la­tions In­ves­ti­ga­tion Com­mis­sion sit­ting in Abuja along with the ex-Com­man­der of the de­funct Rivers Se­cu­rity Task Force, Col. Paul Okun­timo, where they were re­port­edly booed by spec­ta­tors .

In the run-up to the 2003 elec­tions he ven­tured into the murky wa­ters of Nige­rian pol­i­tics and re­turned to his home state, Kebbi State where he sought to be gover­nor. Al­though he was among the con­tenders to be nom­i­nated as the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) can­di­date, who by agree­ment was to come from the Zuru Emi­rate where he hails from, he was un­suc­cess­ful at the pri­maries. Since then Komo ap­pears to have been out of cir­cu­la­tion, rais­ing ques­tions as to his cur­rent where­abouts and what he is cur­rently en­gaged in.

As Mil­i­tary Ad­min­is­tra­tor of Rivers State from De­cem­ber 1993 to Au­gust 1996 dur­ing the regime of the late Gen­eral Sani Abacha, Komo was al­ways in the news. He as­sumed of­fice at a time of es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence be­tween the Ogoni and Okrika peo­ple over crowded water­front land, com­bined with Ogoni protest against Shell Oil ac­tiv­i­ties and the en­vi­ron­men­tal de­struc­tion of Ogoni land.

He re­acted ag­gres­sively, send­ing troops to break up demon­stra­tions and ar­rest lead­ers of the Ogoni’s MOSOP move­ment. When in Jan­uary 1994 Shell and other oil com­pa­nies said they had lost $200 mil­lion in 1993 due to un­rest in the Delta area, and called for urgent mea­sures, Komo formed the Rivers State In­ter­nal Se­cu­rity Task Force from army, navy, air force, mo­bile po­lice and state se­cu­rity per­son­nel, headed by Ma­jor Paul Okun­timo.

The force al­legedly de­stroyed many Ogoni vil­lages, killing or beat­ing the peo­ple and in a let­ter that Okun­timo wrote to Komo in May 1994, he re­port­edly said: “Shell op­er­a­tions still im­pos­si­ble un­less ruth­less mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions are un­der­taken.” At a press con­fer­ence on Au­gust 2, 1994, Komo and Okun­timo re­port­edly jus­ti­fied the use of ter­ror to force the Ogoni into sub­mis­sion.

On May 21 1994, four prom­i­nent Ogoni lead­ers were said to have been bru­tally mur­dered at a meet­ing of the Gokana Coun­cil of Chiefs and Elders, fol­low­ing which Komo ad­dressed a press con­fer­ence in Port Har­court over the in­ci­dent.

The next day, Ken SaroWiwa, au­thor and leader of the Move­ment for the Sur­vival of Ogoni Peo­ple (MOSOP) and oth­ers were ar­rested on charges of in­volve­ment in the mur­ders.

As Mil­i­tary Ad­min­is­tra­tor of Rivers State from De­cem­ber 1993 to Au­gust 1996 dur­ing the regime of the late Gen­eral Sani Abacha, Komo was al­ways in the news. He as­sumed of­fice at a time of es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence be­tween the Ogoni and Okrika peo­ple over crowded water­front land, com­bined with Ogoni protest against Shell Oil ac­tiv­i­ties and the en­vi­ron­men­tal de­struc­tion of Ogoni land

Komo re­port­edly pro­claimed in ad­vance that Saro-Wiwa was “guilty of mur­der.”

On Oc­to­ber 31, 1995, a tri­bunal an­nounced death sen­tences for Saro-Wiwa and eight other ac­tivists. All nine were ex­e­cuted on Novem­ber 10, 1995. In 2009, Royal Dutch Shell agreed a $15.5m out-of-court set­tle­ment in a case brought by rel­a­tives of Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni lead­ers who ac­cused it of com­plic­ity in the hu­man rights abuses at that time, al­though Shell de­nied wrong­do­ing.

Komo con­tin­ued to de­tain sup­port­ers of the Ogoni peo­ple. The pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Union of Rivers State Stu­dents was ar­rested af­ter or­ga­niz­ing a de­mon­stra­tion on De­cem­ber 10, 1995, In­ter­na­tional Hu­man Rights Day, to protest the ex­e­cu­tion of the Ogoni nine. Anyak­wee Nsi­r­i­movu, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of Hu­man Rights and Hu­man­i­tar­ian Law, Robert Az­ibaola, Pres­i­dent of the Niger Delta Hu­man and En­vi­ron­men­tal Res­cue Or­gan­i­sa­tion (NDHERO) and Stan­ley Worgu, Di­rec­tor of Hu­man Rights (NDHERO) were de­tained in April 1996, ap­par­ently to pre­vent them from talk­ing to mem­bers of a UN mis­sion who were in­quir­ing into the SaroWiwa case.

Af­ter be­ing re­lieved of his po­si­tion as Mil­i­tary Ad,min­is­tra­tor in Au­gust 1996 and fol­low­ing the restora­tion of democ­racy in May 1999, Komo was forced to re­tire from the army, along with other for­mer mil­i­tary ad­min­is­tra­tors.

In the run-up to the 2003 elec­tions for Kebbi State gover­nor, Komo was among the con­tenders to be nom­i­nated as the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) can­di­date, who by agree­ment was to come from the Zuru Emi­rate.

That at­tempt was, how­ever, un­suc­cess­ful and since then not much has been heard about the ex-mil­i­tary of­fi­cer.

Daily Trust on Sun­day gath­ered that Komo who shut­tles be­tween Kebbi, Abuja and Kaduna is now into farm­ing and do­ing some pri­vate busi­nesses. His com­mu­ni­ca­tion com­pany dur­ing the im­me­di­ate past ad­min­is­tra­tion led by Al­haji Us­man Dakingari in Kebbi State was said to have en­tered into part­ner­ship with some ex­pa­tri­ates for the dig­i­tal­iza­tion of Kebbi State-owned tele­vi­sion and ra­dio sta­tions. He is also said to own hos­pi­tals in Jos.Those who know the re­tired Colonel from his home­town said he re­cently ven­tured into se­cu­rity busi­ness in Kaduna.

Ac­cord­ing to our source, his se­cu­rity com­pany is lo­cated close to the res­i­dence of for­mer vice pres­i­dent Na­madi Sambo’s res­i­dence in Kaduna. Since his re­tire­ment from the army and con­se­quent upon his un­suc­cess­ful at­tempt to oc­cupy the ex­alted seat at Gov­ern­ment House, Birnin Kebbi, he was said to have been liv­ing a quiet life. He vis­its his home­town, Zuru only dur­ing ma­jor fes­ti­vals such as the Uhola Cul­tural Fes­ti­val. He is cur­rently the chair­man of Zuru Emi­rate De­vel­op­ment So­ci­ety.

Colonel Dauda Komo

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