The Truth About Ken Saro Wiwa.
In This Review
Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian citizen, was executed by an earlier military regime in Nigeria because he fought for his rights as an Ogoni. Over twenty years after his execution the people of the region aren’t getting oil revenue.
Harry Saro-Wiwa sits beside his brother’s grave. A torn, washed-out flag is flying from a wooden pole. Harry claims that his brother sacrificed his life for the well-being and well-being of the Ogoni people and never thought of his own needs. As he begins to open his mouth, a group of young men appear and interrupt the interview.
There are some who are in their underwear, and they have the smell of alcohol. Harry informs them that he’s speaking about his brother who is buried in the same cemetery. However, the youngsters ignore him “Ken is a hero to the Ogoni – this is not just about your family, it is about all the Ogoni,” they declare. However, it becomes apparent that they are really after money to guard the grave. Perhaps they saw the chance to acquire some sort of reward. It’s difficult to determine.
20 years after Ken’s death, the events that took place at his burial site show the extent to which society is divided. The majority of things are about money. The writer Ken Saro-Wiwa founded MOSOP, which stands of MOSOP, which stands for the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People in the late 1990s.
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The group claimed that oil production has destroyed the environment of the region, while it was not a benefit for the 500,000 residents. Saro-Wiwa claimed that Shell had transformed the once-pristine area with natural beauty that is unspoiled into an uninviting black moonscape. Pipelines that were leaking and pumping stations sank into the soil and damaged it. For the local population, Nigeria’s oil reserves haven’t brought wealth or wealth, but just poverty and diseases.
The Ogoni started a peaceful battle with Shell as well as the regime of the military in Nigeria. When 1993 came around, Shell quit Ogoniland. It has not returned since. The victory turned Ken Saro-Wiwa and his followers into a real threat to General Sani Abacha’s regime of military dictatorship. The writer was detained by the general in 1994 and later charged with being the cause of the deaths of 4 Ogoni chiefs of the tribe. Saro-Wiwa’s death was announced on the 10th of November in 1995. Saro-Wiwa became a symbol for the protection of the environment and rights of the human being.
At the grave of the activist, the youngsters only leave when we have purchased some drinks. Harry demands that we apologize for their behavior. He is supported by Iddi Zobare Deboge who is a sociologist at the University of Applied Sciences in close proximity to Bori. “The oil industry here didn’t help. It doesn’t create any jobs for young people.”
The people of the area were farmers and fishermen however oil extraction has destroyed the ecosystem. In 2011 the United Nations published a report that estimated the price of cleaning the area at 1 billion (931 million euros). The removal of all the destruction is expected to take about 30 years. Igo Weli who is the spokesperson on behalf of Shell Nigeria explained the company’s position on the clean-up. “We are working with the government to start implementing measures as soon as possible. We want to help – and be part of the solution,” the spokesperson said.
This is something that many Ogoni does not believe in very much. Human rights organization Amnesty International accuses oil groups of not doing their job of cleaning the environmental conditions.
Compensation for controversy
Shell has been at the center of criticism in Nigeria for a long time. Analysts accuse the company as well as the former military administrations of creating a divide in society. A divide-and-rule policy was able to convert some politicians in their favor while excluding opposition, critics claim.
Shell paid millions of dollars to enhance its image and to keep out trial. In 2009, the company gave $15.5 million to Ken Saro-Wiwa’s family as well as the other executed activists. Shell said it was a gesture of charity and not a Nigerian one. Ogoniland Shell
Shell is the largest oil company located in the Niger Delta
Recognition of the responsibility. In 2014, people living in the town of Bodo in the area where oil spills took place in 2004, received the sum of $84 million as compensation.
The results of the disaster can be seen today the effects of the disaster can be seen in Bodo. There is a thick carpet of film covering the rivers, and the sand on the coast is stained with oil. “There is hardly anything left to catch here,” says fisherman Sinebari Bonwa. “There used to be oysters, once, but those times are long gone.”
Hopeful for the future
Shell’s payments have made a handful of individuals rich, says the villager, Emmanuel Adakobane. “Some are now saying they want the money intended for cleaning up the environment to be shared by the villagers. But that can’t possibly work,” Adakobane adds. He hopes that after the cleanup, the industry has settled in the area and generated certain jobs. Most people only think of themselves and he says: “The problem with people here is, if they are 100, they want jobs for all 100 of them. But that is not feasible.”
At Ken Saro-Wiwa’s funeral, We inquire about his brother Harry and whether he is optimistic about the coming years. “I pray and hope that someday we will attain everything that Ken died for.” The future generation should be able to profit from the oil wealth in addition to “this place should stop being so sad.”
Harry Saro-Wiwa knows that the prices of oil are low, businesses aren’t investing as they should, and also there is a sense that the Nigerian state is not earning enough. All across the Niger Delta, rebel groups continue to steal oil and abduct people to pay the ransom. In the year 2015’s end, an agreement signed that was signed between government officials and certain militias that suspended their criminal activities in exchange for cash and work – will end.
This is a video documentary about the death of Ken Saro Wiwa. The truth cannot be hidden forever.
The setup by the dictator government of the then president and the conspiracies of Shell company