35yrs After: Vatsa’s family begs Buhari for state pardon

Thirty-five years after his execution for alleged involvement in a coup plot, the family of the late General Mamman Vatsa has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to grant him a state pardon.

Vatsa and some military officers were executed on March 5, 1986, after their alleged involvement in a coup plot, and the day was set aside by his family and the Vatsa community, Gulu in Lapai Local Government of Niger State for remembrance and special prayers for his soul.

Speaking to newsmen after marking this year’s anniversary of his death with special prayers and a visit to orphanage, spokesperson for the family and former commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in the state, Jonathan Vatsa, said every March 5 is marked with sadness and sorrow by the family.

“Every March 5, is always a dark day for the entire Vatsa community and the immediate family. We mark that day with sadness and sorrow. On that day, something was taken away from the family and the entire community,” he said.

Vatsa, who is a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), said the family decided to mark this year’s anniversary with an appeal to President Buhari to see reasons to grant the late Vatsa a state pardon to enable the family-run a foundation in his honour.

Vatsa, who is younger brother to the late General Vatsa, said though his brother was alleged to have plotted a coup, the family is passionately appealing to President Buhari to consider him for a state pardon as it has been done to others.

“The same way former president Olusegun Obasanjo, General Oladipo Diya, the late MKO Abiola and many others were granted state pardon and integrated into the society, President Buhari should also consider our late brother and grant him state pardon,” he said.

“As a former minister for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), our late brother contributed immensely to the development of Abuja. As at the time he was implicated in the alleged coup, he was just a minister of FCT, and not commanding any troop. He was only fighting contractors for the development of Abuja.”

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