A human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, on Wednesday, led protesters to the National Assembly, Abuja to demand the exoneration of Ogoni leaders: the late Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others who were hanged on November 10, 1995 by the late dictator, Sani Abacha.
Saro-Wiwa, a renowned playwright and environmental activist, was executed alongside eight others for fighting for the rights of the Ogoni people.
He urged the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari to exonerate the activists, adding that they committed no offense against the Nigerian state.
Some of the inscriptions on the protesters’ placards read: “Exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 Ogoni Activists Murdered By Abacha”; “They Committed No Offence.”
Sowore said, “They tried him for the offense he has not committed. He was not granted a chance to have a free and fair trial. It was a Kangaroo tribunal set up by the military regime.
“We are here to remind his killers that he never died and secondly, to remind the man who is in charge of Nigeria right now–Muhammadu Buhari that he needs to completely remove that trial from the record and exonerate this innocent man and eight other Ogoni activists.
“After he was killed, they poured acid on his body and buried him in an unknown grave in PorthHacourt. The saddest part is that those who participated and connived in killing him are getting promotions in Nigeria today.
“People like Ahmed Ali, who is now Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service. He was one of the judges who sat in that Kangaroo tribunal; people like a former Chief Judge, Ibrahim Aura– he was also one of those that participated in this infamous killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa; a former President of Nigeria Bar Association ( NBA ), J.B Dawodu. He was the prosecutor of the man who committed no offense.”
“They asked us if we have letters to submit but we told them that we don’t have any letters. Our letter is ‘history’. If they don’t know what it is, they should just google and search for what happened to Ken Saro-Wiwa.”
Sowore said the exoneration of Saro-Wiwa would assuage the agonizing memories of the sad events in the hearts of their families, the Ogoni people, and the entire Niger Delta people as well as lovers of truth, justice, and peace across the world.