How many of you remember Ken Saro-Wiwa? How many of you know or knew of Ken Saro-Wiwa? It was in 1995, a day of infamy in a country known in the 30th century for many infamous outrageous acts, when the then Nigeria’s military government t hung nine political activists. Including among the nine, was a well-known playwright, political and environmental activist and staunch opponent of the exploitation of his people’s land by foreigners and greedy politicians. Ignoring pleas from foreign governments and human rights groups that their lives be spared.
The executions had marked the latest…at the time… incident to bring international anger raining down on Africa’s most populous country, a potentially rich oil power whose military dictatorship of Gen. Sani Abacha had come under repeated criticism for human rights abuses. Most prominent among those executed was writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, 54, president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni Peoples, who was accused of involvement in the killings of four pro-government traditional chiefs during disturbances against the Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell in May 1994.
Throughout his trial, Saro-Wiwa was not permitted to see his attorneys outside the court. The chairman of the special army-appointed tribunal conducting the trial found that Saro-Wiwa was not at the crime scene but was liable because his activism had allegedly fostered an environment for such violent acts. He and eight other Ogoni tribal members were sentenced none the less and the government ratified their death penalties.
The Ogonis, an ethnic minority concentrated in southeastern Nigeria near Port Harcourt, have accused the government of allowing the oil-rich community’s farms and fisheries to be destroyed for lack of environmental safeguards. Seventy percent of Nigeria’s oil exports is pumped from Rivers State, where Ogoni lands are located. Shell was forced by the Ogoni opposition to suspend operations in the area two years ago, after protesters sabotaged $30 million worth of equipment.
Remember when that bull shit movie Captain Phillips came out and the imperialist propaganda was put out to cover the ecological rape of Somalia? Well apparently these planet polluters are at it again, with the inevitable response by the people, who have gotten fed up with their government selling of their birth right and killing their ecology in the process.
This is why an Afrikan union needs to be reality for the benefit of the continent.