10 November 2011, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Hundreds of thousands of Ogoni elders, men, women and youths, turned out, yesterday, in a solemn assembly at Bori, Khana Local Government Council, to mourn Environmentalist Ken Saro Wiwa and 12 others on the 16thanniversary of the death of the Ogoni men.
Vanguard observed that all the commercial premises and other businesses were shut, as most of the youths were clad in black clothes, with the picture of Saro Wiwa emboldened on their “T” shirts, when the mourners thronged the All Saints Anglican Cathedral, Bori, for a church service to herald other activities of the celebration.
In his sermon Bishop of Ogoni Diocese Rt. Rev. Solomon Gberegbara called on the Ogoni people to arise and unite in the actualization of the struggle for their survival so as to remove oppression from the fabric of their lives.
In his statement to the people the leader of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People Mr. Ledum Mitee said the Ogoni’s would never forget the sacrifice of Ken Saro-Wiwa, Chief Edward Kobani, Albert Badey, Chief Samuel Orage, John Kpuinen, Chief Theophilus Orage, Dr. Barinem Kiobel,Daniel Gbokoo, Baribor Bera, Paul Levura, Nordu Eawo, Felix Nuate, Saturday Dobee and several others in the course of our struggle for justice.
Mitee who was in Bori said, “the murders of the Ogoni 13, as we refer to our martyrs, were no doubt the darkest period in our struggle for justice but I do assure that in spite of the challenges, our darkest days are all over.
When we had our trial before that dreaded military tribunal, our leader Ken Saro-Wiwa was prophetic when he said “I and my colleagues are not the only ones on trial.
Shell is here on trial and it is as well that it is represented by counsel said to be holding a watching brief. The company has indeed ducked this particular trial, but its day will surely come.
On trial also is the Nigerian nation, its present rulers and all those who assist them…” True to that prediction, in the recent past our nation has gone through enormous trials and throes whilst shell’s days in court have just begun.
Three months ago, Shell was forced to admit liability over oil spills in Bodo community as well as the jurisdiction of the English court over the case. This is just a precursor to more that is to come as we are in advanced stages of consultations to commence other similar cases against the company abroad.