Where is ex-Rivers Milad, Colonel Dauda Komo?

Where is ex-Rivers Milad, Colonel Dauda Komo.

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 Saro-Wiwa, author and leader of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) and others were arrested on charges of involvement in the murders. 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 Saro-Wiwa 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.

 

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