You Can’t Pardon the Innocent – MOSOP Tells President Buhari

Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) wishes to state its position on President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement on Friday, October 22, 2021 in which the president amongst others muted a presidential amnesty for Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogonis who were murdered by the Nigerian State on November 10, 1995.

While we welcome the president’s statement to integrate the Ogoni people into national life in so much as it guarantees the political rights of the Ogoni people to function within Nigeria as a distinct ethnic nationality, we regret that the president’s amnesty considerations for Ken Saro-Wawa and others murdered by the state in 1995 fends ignorance of the realities of what transpired in Nigeria during the period in question. MOSOP holds that there cannot be amnesty of any kind for the innocent. We remind Nigeria that it cannot run away from its shadows, Nigeria cannot escape the guilt of the Ogoni murders and these innocent blood will remain a permanent stain on Nigeria’s claim to modern civilization. The country should admit its wrongs in Ogoni, apologise to the Ogoni people and take steps to redress the wrongs
MOSOP therefore considers President Buhari’s offer to be misplaced. We expect our president to be fully aware of the circumstances of Saro-Wiwa’s death and in a democratic regime, we expect a presidential condemnation of such blatant violations and to take practical steps to address the problems rather than a seeming justification of the torture and murders we still suffer under the discriminatory Nigerian system.
MOSOP wants to make unequivocally clear that there cannot be pardon for the innocent. Our position which has been corroborated by the U.N Secretary General’s fact finding mission to Nigeria in 1996, the Hon. Justice Chukwudifu Oputa panel set up by the Nigerian Government under President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration and tons of evidence is that Ken Saro-Wiwa and the eight others were not guilty of any crime.
We regret that Mr President’s position is frightening as it suggests that the Ogoni people could still be in danger of the conspiracy between Shell and the Nigerian authorities which led to the elimination of Ken Saro-Wiwa and an estimated 4,000 other Ogonis in the 1990s in desperation to crush a civil rights movement.
We regret that the Nigerian government does not seem to feel the pains of the Ogoni people and have not shown any remorse for the inhuman treatment we have suffered under successive government’s repressive policies and presidential orders. President Buhari’s statements on Friday hurts us very deeply as it still signals the willingness of the government to pursue policies that could seriously encourage human rights violations in Ogoni. If the Nigerian government still thinks Saro-Wiwa and others were hanged through a judicial process, then we are truly very far from a free and just Nigerian society.
What will president Buhari pardon Ken Saro-Wiwa and the others for? What crime did they commit? The Nigerian government murdered Saro-Wiwa and the others in their innocence. How do they expect us to like that?
MOSOP rejects every attempt by the government to denigrate our dead after murdering them in their innocence. We regret that the Nigerian government seems not to be using her conscience even in cases like this, where the truth about the innocence of the executed men including Ken Saro-Wiwa are so glaring.
We regret Nigeria’s naivety on the Ogoni situation, being a deliberate political conspiracy to reduce an agitation for human, environmental and political rights to a fraudulent cleanup in Ogoni. Will the Nigerian government want us to believe that Saro-Wiwa and eight others were killed with the hope that the Ogoni people will be persuaded by a fraudulent cleanup and a presidential pardon so that they can return to the Ogoni oilfields to continue the denigration?
MOSOP condemns the government’s unrepentant stance against Ogoni and wants the Nigerian Government to end its political maneuvers and inhuman treatment of the Ogoni people. We demand an end to the political discrimination against the Ogoni people in Nigeria. It is regrettable that in a country whose constitution subscribes to freedom and fairness for all, a distinct ethnic group whose resources fund the state and national budgets is not recognized within the political structure and configuration of the country and a simple demand for fairness and basic rights is crushed with the strength of state security forces.
MOSOP holds that the Nigerian State cannot in any way justify the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others outside the desperation to sustain Nigeria’s repression and discrimination against the Ogoni people.
MOSOP therefore restates its position on this issue and insists on total exoneration for Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nubari Kiobel, Nordu Eawo, John Kpuinen, Baribor Bera, Felix Nuate and Saturday Doobee. The eight of them were victims of Nigeria’s repression against the Ogoni people under the regime of General Sanni Abacha.
Finally, MOSOP beacons on the Nigerian government to treat the Ogoni people with dignity, respect their fundamental rights to basic freedom and self determination and end all repressive measures against the Ogoni people.


Fegalo Nsuke
Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP)
Peace and Freedom Center, Bori, Ogoni
Rivers State
October 24, 2021

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