The umbrella body of Ogoni youths known as Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) is urging the Federal Government to declare November 10th a Public Holiday in Nigeria.

President-General of Ogoni Youth Federation, Engr LEGBORSI YAMAABANA said his call for the declaration of November 10 as Public Holiday is in honour of Ogoni born Human Rights Activist, KEN SARO-WIWA and eight other Ogoni Martyrs, otherwise referred to as Ogoni 9, who were extra-judicially executed by the SANI ABACHA led Nigerian Military Government on 10th November, 1995.

OYF also reiterated his call on President MUHAMMADU BUHARI to exonerate the names of the Ogoni nine from what he called “trumped-up allegations” of the Justice IBRAHIM AUTA led Tribunal and not a pardon.

LIGBORSI YAMAABANA wants the Federal Government to bestow posthumous national honours on the Ogoni 9, as was done in the case of M.K.O. ABIOLA, stressing that “What’s good for the goose is also good for the gander”.

He said: “Pardon is granted to criminals and Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other Ogoni martyrs were not found guilty of any crime as required under our corpus juris and do not deserve a pardon.

“They were without fair trial extra-judicially killed by a kangaroo military tribunal. Their execution provoked international outrage and resulted in Nigeria’s suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations.

After their execution, the United Nations set up a Fact-finding Committee, the committee which arrived Nigeria on April 1996, passed a verdict that the trial and execution of the Ogoni nine was unjust, unfair, partial in every shred of human consideration and does not meet the requirements of both domestic and international Human laws.

The quest for national healing and reconciliation can not complete until the Nigerian Government adhere to the above demands.

The hanging of Ogoni nine remains a permanent stain on Nigeria’s claim to civilization”.

The Ogoni Youth leader who expressed dismay at the alleged role of Shell Petroleum Development Company in the hanging of the Ogoni 9, would “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”.

He noted: “Shell will not escape justice over the crimes committed against the Ogoni people.

As we remember KEN 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. OYF will not fail to actualize the 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”.

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