Exonerate Saro-Wiwa from murder, not pardon, says Foundation

The Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation has said that the exoneration of the late playwright, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his kinsmen of murder, not pardon would heal the wounds in the heart of the Ogoni people.

Saro-Wiwa’s younger brother, Dr Owens Wiwa, stated this in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on behalf of the foundation’s board of directors on Monday.

He said Saro-Wiwa and eight of his Ogoni compatriots executed on November 10, 1995, by the military junta of the late former head of state, Sani Abacha, were not criminals.

Wiwa stated that they were activists killed after what the statement described as ‘a sham trial’ for fighting for a just cause on behalf of their oppressed community, saying, the path to true peace in the region begins with justice.

The reaction was in response to a recent statement by a presidential aide, Femi Adesina, that conveyed his principal’s willingness to grant pardons to Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other Ogoni eight.

The statement reads in part, “Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other eight Ogonis were not criminals. They were innocent activists unjustly murdered for fighting for a just cause on behalf of their oppressed community.”

It added that the cleaning up of the environment for which the activists died for was a first good step.

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