OGONI YOUTHS WISH KEN SARO-WIWA 80TH POSTHUMOUS BIRTHDAY
The youths of Ogoni ethnic nationality in Rivers State, Niger Delta, Nigeria have described the blood of the late Ogoni human and environmental rights activist, KEN SARO-WIWA, who was killed by the Nigerian military government in 1995 as a sacrifice for the freedom of Ogoni people.
President of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) Engr. LEGBORSI YAMAABANA said this in a statement he personally signed to wish the slain Niger Delta activist a posthumous 80th birthday on November 10, 2021.
Engr. LEGBORSI YAMAABANA noted that the youths and the people of Ogoni would not fail to actualize their collective dream for a free and better Ogoni.
Below is the press statement, read for details
HAPPY 80TH POSTHUMOUS BIRTHDAY KEN SARO-WIWA
“Happy posthumous birthday to the flagship of the Niger Delta struggle, prolific writer, television producer, environmental & human rights activist, and winner of the Right Livelihood Award and the Goldman Environmental Prize, Kenule “Ken” Beeson Saro-Wiwa (10 October 1941 – 10 November 1995).
Saro-Wiwa led a nonviolent campaign against environmental degradation of the land and waterways of Ogoni vis-à-vis the entire Niger Delta by the operations of the multinational petroleum companies, especially the Royal Dutch Shell company. He was also an outspoken critic of the Nigerian government, which he viewed as reluctant to enforce environmental regulations on the multinational oil companies operating in the area.
At the peak of his non-violent campaign, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his comrades (the “Ogoni Nine”) were extra-judiciary executed by hanging on November 0th, 1995 by a kangaroo military tribunal put together by Sani Abacha’s led military junta. His execution provoked international outrage and resulted in Nigeria’s suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations for over three years.
The hanging of nine Ogoni human rights activists remains a permanent stain on Nigeria’s claim to civilization. The role Shell played in the hangings will continue to question the company’s credibility and public perception no matter how much she invests to launder her battered image as the chief sponsor of terror against the Ogonis.
It should be sounded very clearly that Shell will not escape justice over her crimes against the Ogoni people.
Today, We remember Saro-Wiwa, our beloved and dogged leader whom the Nigerian government and shell killed with the hope that his death will pave way for them to take Ogoni oil. We remember the other eight and the first four – all of whose blood has been a sacrifice for our freedom. We will not fail to actualize our collective dream for a free and better Ogoni.
Though Ken Saro-Wiwa is no more, he will not rest in peace until human dignity returns to the men, women and children of Ogoniland, until peace and happiness returns to Ogoniland and until our environment has been restored to green field.
Happy Posthumous Birthday Teeh Kenule Benson Saro-Wiwa”.