Vatsa community, Lapai local government area of Niger State has begged President Mohammadu Buhari to use the occasion of the June 12 Democracy Day celebration to grant their son, late General Mamman Jiya Vatsa a state pardon.
Vatsa was executed alongside nine other military officers for alleged involvement in a coup plot meant to overthrow former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida in 1986
The appeal by the community is coming 35 years after the late General Vatsa was executed by the military.
They were sentenced to death after two different trials for an alleged coup plot meant in 1986.
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Mallam Isah Aliyu Vatsa a spokesman of the community, who made the appeal in Minna on behalf of his people and the entire Vatsa family, said granting him a state pardon by the President will heal the pains inflated on the community 35 years ago following his execution.
He said, “every 5th of March, is always a dark day for the entire Vatsa Community and the immediate family. We mark the day with sadness and sorrow. We know that something was taken away from the family and the entire community”
“We believed that granting him a state pardon will enable the community and the family run a foundation in his honour. We can not do that if he is not granted pardon”
Isah Vatsa also reasoned that the same way that former President Olusegun Obasanjo, General Oladipo Diya, late MKO Abiola and many others were all granted state pardon and integrated into the society, President Buhari should also consider their late brother with the same gesture.
“Even though our son was alleged to have plotted a coup, the family is passionately appealing to President Buhari to rewrite history by considering him for a state pardon as it has been done to other Nigerians who found themselves in similar situations at the time.”
“As a former Minister for Federal Capital Territory, our late son contributed immensely to the development of Abuja. As at the time he was implicated in the alleged coup, he was a minister of FCT and the architect of the present development of Abuja.”
The spokesperson further said his death created a lot of setback in the family and the entire Vatsa community because so many people depended on him for everything.
The community then appealed to all his friends still living to support the cause so that he can be granted pardon adding, “this June 12 democracy day is a good opportunity for the President to wipe out our tears”.
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