It is with pain and a bleeding heart that I join to remember the unjust killing of what is now known as the Ogoni Nine led by the renowned Playwright and Environmental Rights Activist, Kenule Saro-wiwa, twenty five years after they were put to perpetual silence by the Abacha Government on 10th November, 1995. Saro-Wiwa like Isaac Adaka Boro inspired many of us in this struggle and it hurts that we are still dealing with the issues they died for.
Saro-wiwa though an Ogoni man and a Niger Deltan, raised valid questions that have troubled the average Niger Delta person, environment and the minority tribes of the Nigeria state.
As such, the unjust conviction and killing of Kenule Saro-Wiwa and others in 1995 can be regarded as a conviction and killing of the peoples of the Niger Delta who have continued to demand for resource ownership and control, environmental justice, devolution of powers etc.
It is important to note that as long as these questions remain unaddressed, they remain an indictment on the Nigerian state which continues to survive economically and in every way on the resources that solely come from the Niger Delta region though our Oil and Gas leaving it undeveloped and in a dangerous environmental condition.
As a leader in the Niger Delta who has been in the forefront of justice for our region, I wish to join the Ogonis to demand for the exhonoration of the Ogoni Nine, and also urge the federal government to give speedy attention to the questions of the Niger Delta, total environmental impact assessment and repair of the Niger Delta and compensation, necessary environmental justice, proper stakeholder engagement with the people of the Niger Delta, resource ownership and control, devolution of power and the total restructuring of Nigeria. Above all, I wish to call on the government of Nigeria to stop criminalizing the agitations of our people because a right can never be a gift or a privilege.
High Chief Hon. Amb. Sobomabo Jackrich, Leader and Founder, Kengema Unity Forum.