Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt
Twenty-six years after the killing of 13 prominent Ogoni leaders, including Dr. Ken Saro-Wiwa, by the late Gen. Sani Abacha military junta, the people of the ethnic group have called on the Federal Government to vindicate the dead of allegations and grant them justice.
The people, who spoke via a statement by the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), their socio-cultural organization, to mark the remembrance of the muder of the first four of the 13 martyrs killed on May 21, 1994, expressed worry over the continued denial of justice to the heroes who were allegedly killed and appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to do justice to the souls of the deceased.
The document, signed on behalf of the group by the MOSOP National Transition Committee Chairman, Keeper Gbaranor, the people noted that the pain of losing the heroes of their land to such level of heinous murder is as fresh today as it was when it happened 26 years ago and vowed never to give up on the reason for which they were killed.
MOSOP said: “As we recall the condemnable murder of four Ogoni leaders and compatriots, Chief Edward Kobani, Chief Albert Baddey, Chief Samuel Orange and Elder Theophilus Orange by agents of the Nigerian government on May 21, 1994, at Giokoo, in Gokana Local Government Area, Ogoni, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, is worried over the continued denial of justice for the prominent Ogoni sons and other heroes of our struggle, who were killed by the the Nigerian state.
“This year’s commemoration marks 26 years after the murder of four of the Ogoni 13, and the people of Ogoni are still in pains as they have not really come to terms with the reason for their murder through the conspiracy and collaboration between the oil multinational, Shell, and the government.
“MOSOP will continue to hold Shell and their agents in governments, some of whom are still at the corridor of power, even in this current dispensation, responsible for the death of these prominent leaders and a generation of Ogoni patriotic sons.
“It is most disheartening the height of injustice and oppression that this calibre of persons and more lives will be wiped away in a quest for the unhindered exploitation of the natural resources of a people.
“We use this opportunity to assure that the struggle in which they lost their lives will not be reneged on or compromised, and also reiterate our call on the Nigerian government to demonstrably address the globally acknowledged injustices committed against the people of Ogoni and by extension, the Niger Delta peoples.”