Ken Saro-Wiwa, Jr. [Photo Credit: saharareporters.com]
Ken Saro-Wiwa, Jr., son of late environmentalist and human rights fighter for his Ogoni (Nigeria’s oil-producing area in the Delta) people, is dead.
Ken Saro-Wiwa, Senior was sentenced to death by the General Abacha regime on trumped-up charges because he cried out to the world about the extensive degradation of the area that produces – still does – Nigeria’s oil. Saro-Wiwa, a graduate of the University of Ibadan, was president, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), was murdered despite calls by world leaders, including the Commonwealth of which Nigeria was a member.
Ken, a journalist, carried on in the footsteps of his father to fight, alongside other Ogoniland activists, for the Nigerian government to pay attention to the environmental degradation of their homeland which has continued to be neglected.
A recent press conference that President Buhari had in the USA shows the lack of care and/or grasp of the import of the problem of the people’s desperation with the environmental-devastation in the oil-producing Delta.
The insurgency in the Delta against the Nigerian state in blowing up oil pipelines must have been on the mind of a foreign journalist who asked President Buhari about the government’s crackdown in the Delta while the huge loss of earnings from oil perpetrated by “the Avengers” seemed the only important thing on the President’s mind.
President Buhari’s rambling and nearly-incoherent answer that implied the area did not vote for him … was at best undiplomatic. The lady who asked the question looked surprised as most watchers on television must have been.
As a Nigerian, I found it heartless, and a painful answer to watch.
The struggle of the Niger Delta people is unlikely to be willed away or forced into submission by use of military power as Nigeria is doing at the moment and has done on and off for decades. New leaders and groups have always emerged: Isaac Adaka-Boro, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Snr. and the Ogoni Eight who were murdered by Abacha’s Nigeria, and others, including Saro-Wiwa, Jnr. New leaders will continue to emerge as long as Nigerian governments refuse to engage with such leaders and groups in a positive way.
Ken Saro-Wiwa, Jnr. was 47 years old. May he find eternal rest with the Lord.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016.
UPDATE: You may wish to check out the tape:
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2016.