Friday, March 14, 2014

Oil uprising: Two decades after Ken Saro-Wiwa’s death, the Ogoni struggle is reigniting

Patrick Kane and Sarah Shoraka
March 2014.

Patrick Kane of War on Want and Sarah Shoraka of Platform report from the Niger Delta on the Ogoni people’s struggle against Shell and the wider mobilisation in Nigeria towards 2015 as a ‘year of change’

 A Shell gas flare in the Niger Delta
(Photo: Elaine Gilligan/Friends of the Earth)
"The Ogoni struggle is of vital importance not only because it is a struggle for the very survival of the Ogoni people. It is also a catalyst, a source of inspiration and a standard bearer for many struggles in the Niger Delta and across Nigeria. Nigerian activist Nnimmo Bassey has spoken of how the Ogoni bill of rights ‘inspired other ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta to produce similar charters as a peaceful way of prodding the government into dialogue and action’. According to Bassey, real change will come in Africa when ‘struggles erupt to fundamentally and basically reclaim the people’s sovereignty and break the grip of the neocolonial elites on our natural resources’. The impact of the Ogoni struggle could reach far beyond the Niger Delta.

Powerful political and economic interests will seek to maintain the status quo, potentially with violence. Ken Saro-Wiwa’s persecution and execution ignited a movement of international solidarity. There is a need for this international movement to be resurrected, particularly in the power centres where oil is consumed and corporations are based."
Read the rest of the article here.
Comment:  Next year will be 20 years since the Nigerian government murdered Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Do you remember where you were when news of his execution covered the globe?

President Mandela was at a Commonwealth meeting in Australia under the delusion that he had intervened enough to stop Nigeria from killing Saro-Wiwa.

And we are not free.


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