…insists on public apology and posthumous national honour by the Nigerian state.
The Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), the umbrella youth body in Ogoni has rejected the plan to grant presidenntial pardon by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on the slain Hero of Niger Delta Activist, Ken Saro -Wiwa and 8 others, saying the plan doesn’t meet the yearnings of the Ogoni people.
OYF President-General, Comrade Legborsi Yamaabana restated this stand while recalling that the United Nations Fact Finding Team which arrived Nigeria on April 1996 already passed a verdict that the trial and execution of the Ogoni nine was unjust, unfair, partial and does not meet the requirements of both domestic and international Human Rights laws.
You will recall that on 22nd October, 2021, few Ogoni leaders from the four Local Government Areas of the Ogoni Ethnic Nationality met with present Buhari at the Presidential Villa and presented some demands to wit: the granting of pardon to Ken Saro Wiwa, the transfer of the construction of the East-West Road project from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) , and other demands affecting Ogoni people. In response, the President expressly stated that “the Federal Government will consider the request for the grant of pardon to close the Ogoni saga”
Being offended by such unwanted plan, the youth leader while appearing on Rhythm 93.7fm in Port Harcourt vehemently objected to any plan to pardon Our Great Hero who didn’t commit any crime against the Nigerian State and deferred on the position of some Ogoni leaders on the ground that Ken Saro Wiwa was extra-judicially killed by the Nigerian State and that, what is appropriate in the circumstance is a public apology and a Posthumous Honour. The OYF president is quoted ipsissima verbal.
“We totally reject the planned pardon in its entirety. Pardons are giving to criminals. Ken Saro Wiwa wasn’t guilty of any crime and do not earn the pardon. What we are asking for is the exoneration of the name of Ken Saro Wiwa from the Justice Auta Ibrahim kangaroo Tribunal and for a National Posthumous Honour to be bestowed on him and other martyrs like it was bestowed on M.K.O. Abiola, Babagana Kingibe and Gani Fawehinmi and not a pardon” nothing that no accolade whatsoever has hitherto been given to Ken Saro-Wiwa his eight lieutenants despite their roles in enthroning democracy in the country with their life.
OYF believe that honouring these martyrs would perfect the quest for national healing and reconciliation.
To further buttress the foregoing, the Ogoni youth boss referenced the provision of section 35(6) of the 1999 constitution as amended which provides that any person who is unlawfully arrested, detained and or suffered injustice shall be entitled to compensation and apology from the appropriate authority. He supported his position with the decision of the Court in Chairman Efcc V David Littlechild (2015)LCN/7962(CA)
The OYF president who doubled as the coordinator Rivers State Ethnic Youth Leaders Coalition (RSEYLC) queried the clandestine moves by some Ogoni elders to visit President Buhari without the involvement of the youth. This is worrisome and unacceptable, noting that while we shall settle the matter internally, such inordinate move shouldn’t repeat itself, the president warned!
In same breath, Comrade Yamaabana applauded president Buhari for transferring the construction of the East-West Road from the ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund(PIDF), as that will fast track the funding and construction of the said Road#
Lene Kingsley Lekue, Esq
Publicity Secretary, OYF
24th October, 2021