The Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation has said it wants exoneration and not pardons to be granted to the late environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others executed by the Nigerian military dictator, Sani Abacha.

The Foundation was reacting to a statement attributed to President Muhammadu Buhari saying he was considering granting a state pardon to Saro-Wiwa and others executed at the height of the Ogoni crisis in the 1990s.

Ken Saro-Wiwa

See Also News Buhari May Pardon Late Niger Delta Activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Eight Others Killed By Former Dictator, Abacha

A statement signed by Dr Owens Wiwa, brother of Ken Saro-Wiwa, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Foundation and obtained by SaharaReporters on Sunday, however, said the late activist and the eight others who were murdered by the Abacha regime were not criminals.

The group, which became known as Ogoni 9, were activists from the Ogoni region who opposed the operating practices of oil companies destroying their area.

 

They were author and playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine.

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They were tried by a special military tribunal for allegedly masterminding the murder of Ogoni chiefs at a pro-government meeting, and hanged in 1995 by the military dictatorship of General Abacha.

The statement titled, ‘Exoneration Not Pardon For Ken Saro-Wiwa,’ read: “The Board of Directors of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation (KSWF) have received and read the statement from Mr (Femi) Adesina, the Special Adviser on Communications to the President of Nigeria, General Muhammadu 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 statement added that 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”.

Exoneration for Ken Saro Wiwa KSWF by Sahara Reporters on Scribd

Earlier on Sunday, human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore faulted President Buhari's proposed posthumous state pardons for Saro-Wiwa and others.

Sowore said Saro-Wiwa never committed a crime, adding that an innocent person cannot be pardoned.

See Also Politics Ken Saro-Wiwa Didn't Commit A Crime, You Can't Pardon An Innocent Man—Sowore Knocks Buhari On Proposed Pardon

Sowore, who disclosed this on Twitter, stressed that Buhari is the one who once carried out a coup, which is a treasonable offence for which he has yet to be tried.

 

"Ken Saro-Wiwa never committed a crime. You can’t pardon any innocent person! Muhammadu Buhari is the one who once carried out a coup - a treasonable offence for which he’s yet to be tried! EXONERATE Ken Saro-Wiwa NOW!"

 

The activist also queried Buhari for scheduling the next trial date for Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for November 10, the same date Abacha murdered the Ogoni 9 in 1995.

 

"Why did Muhammadu Buhari schedule the next sham trial date for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu for November 10th, the same day Sani Abacha murdered Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Ogonis in 1995? #RevolutionNow."

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