Amnesty, Widow Accuse Shell Of Complicity In Execution Of Ogoni Nine

The widow of Dr Barinem Kiobel, one of the nine Ogoni activists executed in 1995 by the General Sani Abacha-led military government, has filed a case against oil giant, Shell for alleged complicity in the execution of the activists.

Amnesty International said in a statement that the latest case in the Netherlands by Mrs Esther Kiobel revealed details of the alleged role Shell played in the executions.

According to the statement, Esther Kiobel has fought for justice for her husband for more than 20 years, alleging his unlawful arrest and detention, the violation of his personal integrity, the violation of his right to a fair trial and his right to life, and her own right to a family life.

“The executions of the Ogoni Nine shocked the world. Shell has been dodging accountability for its complicity in these deaths for more than twenty years but now, thanks to Esther Kiobel’s determination and bravery in taking on this corporate Goliath, the past is finally catching up with it,” Senior Director of Research at Amnesty International Audrey Gaughran, said.

“Today is a watershed moment in Esther Kiobel’s uphill battle for justice. Shell has to answer for the bloody footprints it left all over Ogoniland,” he added.

A Brutal Campaign’

Amnesty International also said the executions were the culmination of a brutal campaign by Nigeria’s military to silence the protests of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), led by Ken Saro-Wiwa.

According to the statement, MOSOP had claimed that others had grown rich on the oil that was pumped from under their soil, while pollution from spills and gas flaring had “led to the complete degradation of the Ogoni environment, turning their homeland into an ecological disaster.” In January 1993, MOSOP declared that Shell was no longer welcome to operate in Ogoniland.

In January 1993, MOSOP declared that Shell was no longer welcome to operate in Ogoniland.

The military authorities responded to the MOSOP protests with force, committing numerous serious human rights violations including killings, torture and rape.

“Shell encouraged the government to stop Ken Saro-Wiwa and MOSOP, knowing this was highly likely to result in human rights violations being committed against them. Shell had plenty of evidence that the Nigerian Military was responding to the Ogoniland protests with abuse,” said Audrey Gaughran.

“Just weeks before the men were arrested, the Chairperson of Shell Nigeria had met with then-President, General Sani Abacha, and raised “the problem of the Ogonis and Ken Saro-Wiwa”. This was not the first time Shell had engaged with military and security forces to frame the Ogoni protests as a “problem”. Shell also repeatedly reminded the authorities of the economic impacts of the MOSOP protests,” Amnesty International added.

Shell was however quoted to have denied all allegation insinuating its involvement in the killings.

“The allegations cited in your letter against Shell are false and without merit. Shell Nigeria did not collude with the military authorities to suppress community unrest and in no way encouraged or advocated any act of violence in Nigeria. We have always denied these allegations in the strongest possible terms.”

President Buhari Consoles Wife Of Late Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr.

Aisha Buhari, Nigeria's President, CabinetPresident Muhammadu Buhari has consoled the widow of the environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr., assuring that her family is not alone in mourning the passage of the illustrious son of Ogoni land.

In a telephone call on Thursday, the President, while consoling the widow and her children, enjoined them to take solace in the knowledge that their late husband and father lived to see the beginning of the restoration of the devastated ecosystem of Ogoni land – a struggle which he had inherited from his late father, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

President Buhari urged the widow to remain emotionally strong and resilient at this sad period in the life of the family.

He stressed that Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr. did not die in vain, saying his earthly exploits would remain evergreen in national consciousness.

The President’s telephone call followed his condolence message on Wednesday, in which he extolled the achievements of the late author and journalist.

He described the deceased as a promising Nigerian whose willingness and dedication to the clean-up of Ogoni land inspired a healing process in Nigeria after the death of his father.

President Buhari Mourns Ken Saro-Wiwa Jnr

Ken Saro-Wiwa Jnr
Buhari sad

President Muhammadu Buhari has extended heartfelt condolences to the Saro-Wiwa family as well as the government and people of Rivers State on the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa Jnr.

The President also commiserated with the people of Ogoni Kingdom over the passage of their illustrious son, author and environmental activist, who was an ardent believer in the unity, progress and stability of his community.

A statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said the President joined them to mourn the sudden and painful passing of the promising Nigerian whose willingness and dedication to the clean-up of Ogoni land inspired a healing process in Nigeria after the death of his father, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

As the world mourns Saro-Wiwa Jnr, he was hopeful that the commitment of the journalist in serving three Nigerian presidents in various capacities clearly exemplified his patriotism, statesmanship and foresightedness.

President Buhari, who had earlier initiated the process of cleaning up Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, urged family, friends and associates to honour Saro-Wiwa’s memory by making his dream of an environmentally safe, secure and prosperous Ogoni land a reality.

The President prayed that the Almighty God would comfort all who mourn the deceased and grant his soul eternal rest.

Buhari Approves Actions To Fast-track Environmental Clean-up Of Ogoni Land

BuhariIn keeping with his avowed commitment to working for the development and well-being of all Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved several actions to fast-track the long delayed implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Report on the environmental restoration of Ogoni land.

The actions approved by President Buhari, based on recommendations to him by the Executive Director of UNEP, the UNEP Special Representative for Ogoniland, Permanent Secretaries of the Federal Ministries of Environment and Petroleum Resources, and other stakeholders, include the amendment of the Official Gazette establishing the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) to reflect a new governance framework comprising a Governing Council, a Board of Trustees and Project Management.

The President further approved that the HYPREP Governing Council should be composed as follows:

Ministry of Petroleum Resources – One Representative

Federal Ministry of Environment – One Representative

Impacted States (Rivers) – One Representative

Oil Companies & NNPC – 4 Representatives

Ogoniland – 2 Representatives

United Nations System – One Representative

Secretariat – Headed by Project Manager

He also approved the composition of a Board of Trustees for the HYPREP Trust Fund as follows:

Federal Government – One Representative

NNPC – One Representative

International Oil Companies – One Representative

Ogoni Land – One Representative

United Nations System – One Representative

Following a meeting held on the directive of President Buhari, it was also agreed that a contribution deposit of $10 million will be made by stakeholders within 30 days of the appointment of members of the Board of Trustees for the Trust Fund, who will be responsible for collecting and managing funds from contributors and donors. .

A new implementation template has also been evolved at the instance of President Buhari, and the environmental clean-up of Ogoni Land will commence in earnest with the President’s inauguration of the HYPREP Governing Council and the Board of Trustees for the Trust Fund.

Ikimi’s Defection: APC Is Better For It – Tinubu

TinubuThe national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has given reasons why the party opted for Chief John Oyegun as the National Chairman rather than Chief Tom Ikimi.

In a statement dated August 31 but released on Tuesday in Lagos, Mr Tinubu dismissed Ikimi as an unreliable man lacking principles, who could have betrayed the APC.

“It was clear to practically let everyone who had the interest of the party at heart know that we simply could not have a man of Tom Ikimi’s antecedents as Chair of the party.

“As chairman of the NRC, one of the only two political parties in the country under the military transition programme, Tom Ikimi not only connived with the then military regime to annul the elections, terminate the democratic process and sell off his party.

“He became Abacha’s Foreign Minister, convincing the world that heinous state murders like the hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa were just acts! If Ikimi were the Chair of APC the party would have to sleep with both eyes open lest its chairman sell off the party before day break.

“No matter what anyone may say about me, it is unlikely that I can be accused of supporting incompetent or morally light-weight individuals for important political positions. My philosophy is to put the best forward, men and women of competence and integrity,” Tinubu said.

He described Ikimi’s lengthy letter as that filled with falsehood, cheap blackmail and abuse.

He also accused Ikimi of playing out the PDP script and asked Nigerians to ignore him as the PDP has nothing to offer Nigerians.

“He was never sincerely committed to the party. He was always playing out a PDP script. He only wanted the chairmanship of the party as a bargaining chip for negotiations with his benefactors.

“His defection purportedly on account of the loss of the chairmanship of the party is a mere subterfuge, once his ploy failed he had no other objective within the party, I knew he would go back to his sponsors.

“He is back in the company he deserves. And APC is better for it,” Tinubu concluded.

Senate Confirms Ken Nnamani As ICRC Chairman

The Senate has confirmed former Senate President, Dr Ken Nnamani as the chairman Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

The lawmakers also confirmed Mrs. Comfort Saro-Wiwa, sister of late Ken Saro Wiwa as a member of the committee.

President Goodluck Jonathan had sent their names and five others to the Senate to confirm their appointment as chairman and member of the commission.

FG announce formation of project to investigate Ogoni oil spill

The Federal Government has announced the formation of a Hydro-Carbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) to look into the Ogoni land degradation from oil spills.

Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke at a news conference in Abuja said the project shall implement the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme report on Ogoni land as well as investigate, evaluate and establish other hydrocarbon impacted sites.

She assures that With the establishment of this project, all the impacted communities, will cooperate fully with Government and grant unfettered access to all impacted sites to ensure complete success.

She urges community leaders to ensure the effective implementation of the programme.