By Chioma Iruke
The family of late Environmental Activist and Writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa has renewed its call on the Nigerian Government to exonerate and not pardon the late activist and other sons of Ogoni land who were killed by a former military government.
Recall, the activists alongside eight others, were executed by the then military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha in 1995.
After a meeting with leaders of Ogoni land last Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari had announced a Presidential Pardon for Saro-Wiwa and others.
Reacting on Sunday in a statement signed by the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr Owens Wiwa on behalf of the Saro-Wiwa Foundation, the family reminded the government that the executed Ogoni sons were not criminals in the first place.
The statement read, “The Board of Directors of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation (KSWF) have received and read the statement from Mr Adesina, the Special Adviser on Communications to the President of Nigeria, General Mohamadu Buhari (Rtd), in which the President conveyed his willingness to grant clemency or pardons to Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni activists illegally executed by the Nigerian Military Dictatorship of Sani Abacha on November 10 1995 after a sham trial.
“Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other Eight Ogonis were not criminals. They were innocent activists unjustly murdered for fighting for a just cause on behalf of their oppressed community.
“The path to true peace in the region begins with justice. The cleaning up of the environment for which they campaigned and died for is a first good step.
“The exoneration of Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni activists, judicially murdered on November 10 1995 is another step towards peace.
“The family of Ken Saro-Wiwa have made a request for the exoneration of Ken Saro-Wiwa to the President in the past and are still waiting for a response. We urge the President to again consider this request as a path to justice and peace.
“The family and the Foundation have not asked any individual to ask for pardon or clemency for Ken Saro-Wiwa on our behalf, nor are we aware of any group of Ogonis making such a request.”