Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), has talked about the killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa, the popular environmental activist and television producer, along with eight other activists 27 years ago.
Sowore says the incident still haunts Nigeria to date.
Sowore said this on Thursday while recounting how the late nine activists from Ogoni land, popularly known as Ogoni 9, were executed in 1995 by the late General Sani Abacha’s regime on trumped-up charges following their protest against the operating practices of the Royal Dutch Shell oil company.
Pointing out how Saro-Wiwa and his co-victims were denied justice and killed, the human rights activist and #RevolutionNow convener, said, “27 years ago the Nigerian state led by Gen Sanni Abacha and @shell colluded and engaged in one of the worst judicial infamy known to man, falsely accused Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 Ogoni activists of offences they never committed and then chose to hang them before they could appeal.
“The murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Ogonis has continued to haunt Nigeria. Ken was pioneer environmentalist, a philosopher & a fighter and a prophet who saw into the future and declared to the world that his traducers will end up in the dustbin of history. We’ll never forget!”
The AAC presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections on Wednesday at the 27th memorial event for the late activists, revealed that Ken Saro-Wiwa introduced him to activism against the activities of multinationals.
Speaking at the memorial event which took place at Saro-Wiwa’s 24 Aggrey Street House, Port Harcourt, Sowore recalled that Saro-Wiwa was the first to talk about climate change in addition to campaigning against the pollution of the Niger Delta environment.
He further noted that Saro-Wiwa was the first to detect alleged mass oil theft by multinational oil corporations which are allegedly working with Nigerian oil officials, particularly the Shell.
“I met Saro-Wiwa when I was 21 years old. He was the one who introduced me to the struggle against multinationals.
“The issue of climate change which is happening now in Egypt, it was Saro-Wiwa that first started talking about it in Africa, and by extension in the world.
“Saro-Wiwa never died, but remains with us. You cannot kill a man who has not been destined to die,” Sowore said.
The Ogoni Nine (9) were a group of nine activists from the Ogoni region of Nigeria who opposed the operating practices of the Royal Dutch Shell oil corporation. They fought the government and oil companies over environmental degradation in their region.
Their members comprised outspoken author and playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine who were executed by hanging in November 1995 by the military dictatorship of Abacha.
They were buried in Port Harcourt Cemetery.
Their executions provoked international condemnation and led to the increasing treatment of Nigeria as a pariah state until General Abacha’s death in 1998.
Saro-Wiwa had previously been a critic of the Royal Dutch Shell oil corporation and had been imprisoned for a year prior to the executions in November 1995.