MEMBERS of civil society organisations from Ogoni in Rivers State have called on the Federal Government to exonerate late environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, of murder, maintaining that he was killed extra-judicially.
The Chairman of the Ogoni Civil Society Stakeholders’ Forum, Christian Lekia, said this at a special service to mark the 80th posthumous birthday of the late playwright in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of the state.
Lekia said Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his kinsmen were tried by a kangaroo tribunal, sentenced to death and killed under the late General Sani Abacha military junta in 1995.
He said exonerating Saro-Wiwa of murder or from any blame would help in reducing the stigma on the Ogoni people.
“We can no longer endure that ill-treatment meted out on our hero. You know that in 1995, he was murdered in a manner that the then British Minister described as judicial murder.
“We want him to be exonerated. He never committed the crime for which he was killed. Instead of giving us justice by bringing those responsible for his death, even where God has taken his own course, they left that stigma,” he stated.
Also, the factional President of National Youth Council of the Ogoni People, Emmanuel Barinuazo, said, “What we are seeing in Ogoni today is not the legacy of Ken Saro-Wiwa.
“He was a man of peace and ideas, but we are not seeing peace in Ogoni land. But we are using today, his 80th posthumous birthday, to have a new beginning for peace in Ogoni,” he added.
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