The Ogoni Youth Federation has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immortalise Ken Saro-Wiwa and other eight Ogoni martyrs, who were extra-judicially executed by the late General Sani Abacha-led military junta.
The OYF also urged the President to bestow national honour on Saro-Wiwa and clear the name of the renowned human and environmental rights activist and others.
The group in a statement by its President, Comrade Legborsi Yamaabana, also demanded for the release of Saro-Wiwa memorial bus impounded by Nigeria Customs Service led by Col. Hamid Ali (retd).
The OYF held that there were two pressing issues in Nigeria in 1993; the issue of June 12 by the Yoruba and that of Ogoni Bill of Rights.
It stated that while the June 12 issue had been settled in 1999 with Olusegun Obasanjo as President of Nigeria and the recent recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day in honour of MKO Abiola, another Yoruba man, nothing had been done to Ogoni issue and no accolade whatsoever was given to the Ogoni nine despite their role in enthroning democracy in the country with their lives.
The statement reads, “It is also worthy to note that allies of the Ogoni people and Ken Saro-Wiwa in the United Kingdom led by an artist, Sokari Doughlas Camp created a bus in memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others.
“After being on display at various places in the United Kingdom for nine years, the bus was shipped from London to Nigeria via Lagos port. On arrival in Lagos, it was impounded by the Nigeria Customs Service on the orders of Col. Hamid Ali (retd), who was a member of the kangaroo tribunal that sentenced the renowned Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others otherwise known as Ogoni nine to death by hanging.
“All efforts by Ogoni youth and other pressure groups to get the bus released to Ogoni people have proved abortive.
“It’s our stern believe that the process of national healing and reconciliation will not be complete until the Nigerian Government bestow national honour and clears the names of the Ogoni nine.”
Saharareporters, New York