Today, November 10 in Nigeria’s history, specifically in 1995 left a lasting mark which still continues to shape and alter the destinies of millions, for bad. It left progressive Nigerians and Africans bereaved, and is a constant reminder of how terrible governments and sub par governance have deprived Africa of some of her most illustrious children.
Photo by Zina Saro Wiwa- Facebook.
Ken Saro Wiwa (10 October 1941 – 10 November 1995) for those who don’t know, was a Nigerian writer who also produced for Television.
He was a prominent environmental activist. His native home Ogoniland in Nigeria’s Niger-Delta region had been a hub for extracting crude oil since the 1950s- an action that consequently severely destroyed the environment.
As president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Saro-Wiwa and his group often peacefully protested against these oil companies, (primarily SHELL). He wasn’t afraid of criticizing Nigeria’s government especially as it was obvious that they were in partnership with these foreign oil companies (that ruin and rape the land, leaving the people poorer and sick), and so were reluctant to enforce environmental regulations on these foreign bodies.
General Sani Abacha, Nigeria’s then dictator president couldn’t stand Saro’s guts and eventually had him murdered after falsely accusing him for things he did not do.
The execution shocked the world and provoked international outcry with some good things being withheld from Nigeria by the rest of the world, until Abacha (thankfully) died.
This post is a tribute to Ken Saro Wiwa who will live forever.