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25 years ago, today, Ken Saro-Wiwa alongside 8 other activists were executed for protesting against the indiscriminate crude oil extraction in the Ogoni land, Niger Delta.
Ken Saro-Wiwa co-founded the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), in the 1990s. MOSOP argued that indiscriminate oil production devastated the Ogoni region.
Saro-Wiwa was tried by a special military tribunal for allegedly masterminding the gruuesome murder of Ogoni chiefs at a pro-government meeting and hanged in 1995 by the military dictatorship of General Sani Abacha.
His execution sparked international outrage, and Nigeria was suspended from many international organisations as a result.
Today, his daughter, Noo Saro-Wiwa, an author and a Literary Arts Fellow, has spoken about the murder of her activist father.
She pleaded with the government to pardon her father and his 8 colleagues, claiming he was murdered for simply pursuing his human right.
In two separate tweets, Noo said, “25 yrs ago today, my father #kensarowiwa was murdered by #Nigeria ’s gov’t simply for pursuing human rights for the #Ogoni people in the #nigerdelta. The gov’t still hasn’t pardoned him and his 8 colleagues. They were innocent men. #pardonkensarowiwa #pardontheogoni9 #Buhari”
“The Nigerian government cannot call itself civilised or claim moral authority while it refuses to exonerate #kensarowiwa and his 8 colleagues. Black lives will matter outside Africa only when they matter in Africa itself. #pardonkensarowiwa #pardontheogoni9 #Buhari”
In the wake of the recent EndSARS protests where thousands marched against police brutality and the government’s subsequent response in freezing accounts of protesters and the arrest of Eromo Adene, the 25 year remembrance of Saro-Wiwa and these 8 others have sparked conversations around human rights abuse in Nigeria.
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