Port Harcourt — The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, says the exoneration of Ogoni nine, executed by the Federal Military Government on November 10, 1995 remains a critical part of the Ogoni demands and will not be compromised.
Saro-Wiwa and his group, MOSOP, after a prolonged battle had in 1993 driven the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC out of Ogoni oilfields in OML11, following what they had described as environmental terrorism, underdevelopment and political marginalization of the indigenous people by Shell and the Nigerian Government.
In 1995, the Military Government of Nigeria under the leadership of late Gen. Sani Abacha, set up a tribunal dubbed the Ogoni Civil Disturbance Special Tribunal, which tried and sentenced Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni men to death by hanging, for the murder of four of their kinsmen.
But President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, in a speech to mark the 24th anniversary of the UN Secretary General’s fact finding mission to Ogoni, noted that the Special Tribunal which ordered the killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa had no jurisdiction to try Saro-Wiwa and the others.
Nsuke said it was shameful that Nigeria’s response to a simple and justifiable demand for basic rights and justice by the Ogoni people, was repression by state security forces and the hounding by oil companies through its agents which led to the death of thousands of innocent Ogonis.
The MOSOP leader said all what the Ogoni people want in Nigeria is respect for the rights of the people and justice.
“It is unacceptable to us that our own government will incriminate our leaders, kill them in their innocence and expect us to be silent.
“The injustice done to the Ogoni people is unthinkable and a big shame that questions our claim to modern civilization as a country and the only way we can reclaim our pride as a decent nation is to give justice to the Ogoni people” Nsuke said.
MOSOP called on the Federal Government to initiate moves to clear the names of the “Ogoni 9” as a first step towards resolving the Ogoni problem, to pave the way for further dialogue on the future of the Ogoni in Nigeria.
Nsuke further called on the international community not to allow Nigeria repeat what it did to the Ogoni people in the 90s, especially the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the others.
He emphasized the need to end to the discrimination against the Ogoni people in the country, and the exoneration of the nine Ogoni activists executed by Gen. Sani Abacha-led military government on November 10, 1995.