The saying "United we stand, divided we fall", is an all-time-truth. It was divided through a communication barrier that scattered the builders of the Tower of Babel. The Holy Writ makes us understand that God authored it. It is the same instrument that the devil is using to scatter families, couples, projects, well intended causes and even nations today.
It is now 26 years since the Ogoni Nine were murdered for their campaign for economic and social justice against the oil giant, Shell.
On the morning of November 10, 1995 in a Port Harcourt gaol, Nigeria murdered: Ken Saro-Wiwa, Baribor Bera, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbokoo, Barinem Kiobel, John Kpuinen, Paul Levula, and Felix Nuate.
As myself, James Marriott and many others have been saying for decades, they were all hung by the Nigerian state on trumped up charges that were widely condemned at the time.
The world knew that they had been killed in order to silence a powerful campaign, of which Saro-Wiwa was the figurehead, that demanded justice for the ecological destruction of their homeland, Ogoni.
Even now, some twenty six years later, the intensity of the injustice keeps burning, the wound still bleeds. Justice is still not served.
As every year passes, some may find it easier to forget and move on. Again and again we’ve been inspired by the line from Milan Kundera: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”
To this end, Ogoni activists and Platform, an art-based activism group, have endeavored to mark each passing year and act in solidarity where possible. Over this vigil of the years, they created works such as the Remember Saro Wiwa living memorial sculpture which toured England and is now incarcerated in Lagos, Nigeria.
This year of 2021, the anniversary of the murder of the Ogoni 9 falls within the COP 26 conference in Glasgow. This massive gathering is obsessively focused on the future with the repeated cry of “the future is our hands.” But whose futures, and the future of where?
The battle in Glasgow is to put a halt to the investment plans of the fossil fuel corporations. To use civil society pressure, sporadically expressed through state politicians, to stop the plans of a handful of private companies to drill for oil in the North Sea, the Niger Delta and elsewhere across the planet.
We have known for decades that the Niger Delta is under radical threat from climate change. The Delta is essentially a mighty fan of low-lying land, once essentially tropical rainforest, that faces the Gulf of Guinea. This is a place that faces a severe threat of sea level rise. The scale of the rise and the speed at which it does so is, of course, hard to predict. But the inequity of the impacts is clear.
Once upon a time, almost every candidate of the political parties printed their posters and other campaign materials with the same caption, "The People's Choice". But all that changed with time.
Just like a flash of lightning and the sound of the thunder, the media space was buzzing with the news of Femi Fani-Kayode's defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, thereby ending weeks of speculations and rumors that he intends to abandon the opposition ship, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Advocacy in black race has not really gotten the best of concern, accolades and support. Basically, it is because, maybe, the understanding about it is low or because to most humans in that race, any and everything should be and addressed with the same gloves used in contemporary politics. In other climes, advocacy groups pose as hope lines for the people and society. Advocacy groups speak for the people, put the government in check, make the government accountable to the people and always walk side by side with the government's result oriented programmes.
Surround yourself with angels. In life there will be road blocks but we will over come it. You see that bamboo behind me though, you see that bamboo? Ain’t nothin’ like bamboo. Bless up. They never said winning was easy. Some people can’t handle success, I can. You do know, you do know that they don’t want you to have lunch. I’m keeping it real with you, so what you going do is have lunch. You see that bamboo?