Noo Saro-Wiwa, the daughter of Nigerian writer, television producer, environmental activist, Kenule Beeson “Ken” Saro-Wiwa has taken to her Facebook page to celebrate the 25th anniversary of her father who was executed by the Nigerian Military Government on 10th November 1995 alongside 8 others in Port Harcourt.
Noo Saro-Wiwa disclosed that they had to exhume the remains of her father, who was buried in an unmarked grave, with their own hands decades later in order to give him a dignified burial. She also criticized the Nigerian Government for their failure to give her father an official pardon.
The then President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Saro-Wiwa led a nonviolent campaign against environmental degradation of the land and waters of Ogoniland by the operations of the multinational petroleum industry, especially the Royal Dutch Shell company.
At the peak of his non-violent campaign, he was tried by a special military tribunal for allegedly masterminding the gruesome murder of Ogoni chiefs at a pro-government meeting, and hanged in 1995 by the military dictatorship of General Sani Abacha. His execution provoked international outrage and resulted in Nigeria’s suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations for over three years.
25 years ago today, my father Ken Saro-Wiwa and his eight colleagues were murdered by Nigeria’s military regime after a sham trial. Their only ‘crime’ was to peacefully pursue human rights for the Ogoni people and to campaign against oil spills in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
Their bodies were buried in an unmarked grave for almost a decade. When our family finally received my father’s remains we had to reassemble his skeleton with our own hands before giving him a dignified burial.
To this day the Nigerian government has not granted him an official pardon. It speaks volumes about our so-called democracy. No government can call itself civilised or claim any moral authority while it refuses to exonerate these innocent men. Black lives will matter outside of Africa only when they matter in Africa itself. #pardonkensarowiwa #pardontheogoni9