Ogoni: Calls For Immortalisation Of Saro-Wiwa
Eighteen years after his execution, prominent Nigerians have called for a day of remembrance for the leader of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People and Vice-Chair of the UNPO, Ken Saro-Wiwa, similar to the American Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Below is an article published by AllAfrica.com:
If the late environmental rights activist and leader of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, Ken Saro-Wiwa was alive, he would be 72 years old on October 10.
Eighteen years after he was executed with eight other Ogoni leaders by the military government of late General Sani Abacha, eminent Nigerians said, yesterday, that the issues he fought for, such as under-development, marginalisation of minority ethnic groups and devastation of the environment have not been resolved.
They spoke at the 72nd post-humous birthday and launch of a book entitled The 3-Dimensions of the Ogoni Revolution and the Unanswered Questions, organised in Saro-Wiwa's honour by the Niger Delta Youth Movement, NDYM; Middle Belt Youth League, MBYL; Ogoni Solidarity Forum, OSF and Ogoni Economic Forum, OEF.
They also urged the Federal Government to immortalise Saro-Wiwa just like the Americans have done to Martin Luther King, Jnr.
Among eminent persons at the occasion, who extolled the virtues of the late environmental activist were Chief A.K. Horsefall; Ambassador Dan Suleiman; Mr Sam Amuka, Publisher, Vanguard Newspapers; Senator Adego Aferakeya, who chaired the event; Jimi Agbaje and former Assistant Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service, Chief Bassey Charles (rtd.).
Other are Dr. Eugene Okolocha, Mr. Odia Ofeimum, Chief Mike Nweilaghi, OEF chairman; Ogbo Mmuen Kpagane, book author and Abuka Onalo, President-General, United Middle Belt Youth Congress, UMBYC.
Senator Aferakeya said although Ken Saro-Wiwa was dead, he is still alive because he was an actor and that actors never die.
He proposed that just like the United States of America has a day set aside to celebrate Martin Luther King (Jnr) for his struggles towards liberation of the blacks in America, Nigeria should also declare a day for Saro-Wiwa for his struggles towards liberation of the Ogoni people.
He said: "We are here to celebrate an icon not only in Ogoniland but in Nigeria. Ogoniland must continue to grow and carry its history from generation to generation."