The Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates (KSWA) has sworn-in a 10 man committee to drive the 2018 Ogoni Martyrs Day Celebration, tasking them to do a thorough and encompassing job to ensure a successful programme.
Addressing the members of the committee, at Bori, the Headquarters of Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, the National Coordinator of KSWA, Chief Gani Topba charged them to be unique in their approach of the 23rd Ogoni Martyrs Day Celebration coming up on 10th November, 2018.
According to him, the celebration came about due to the killing of Ogoni prominent sons, occasioned by the activities of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
Chief Topba alleged that Shell has been trying to come back to Ogoni land through the back door in connivance with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“Many years ago, many prominent sons of Ogoni were killed by the activities of Shell. The Company has been trying to come back to Ogoni land through the back door. Court has agreed with us that Ken was unjustly killed. This year’s Ogoni Day will be unique, hence the inauguration of this committee to drive the process”, Chief Topba said.
The National Coordinator said apart from Ken thousands of other Ogoni prominent sons were also killed.
He urged the committee to do a thorough job and ensure that all other martyrs are accommodated in the 2018 Ogoni Day Celebration, coming up in November .
In her remarks at the event, the representative of Amnesty International, Ms Babara Taft who said they have been working with late Ken Saro-Wiwa in early 1990s, agreed that cleaning an oil-impacted site has never been easy anywhere in the world. She cited Arizona as one of the places that has peculiar environmental challenges like the Ogoni land.
“We know that it is difficult to clean oil spill. But we will teach them how to do the clean-up”, Ms Taft said. She urged the government to get involved with the clean-up exercise.
The Amnesty International Representative also said that her group is collaborating with other bodies to ensure justice for the polluted lands across the globe, including Ogoni land in Nigeria.
Ms Taft promised to interface with the International Community, especially USA and Canada to ensure that the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report is implemented.
Earlier while swearing in the 10 member committee for the 23rd Ogoni Day Celebration, Former Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Legborsi Esaen charged the committee to be steadfast in the discharge of their duty.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Teeh Kabari Agara assured that they would put in their utmost best to ensure that the programme is successful.
He thanked the National Coordinator of Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates for the confidence reposed in them, pointing out that his committee will not disappoint Ogoni people.
Other members of the committee are: Comrade M.Z. Aluzim – Nyo-Khana, (Secretary),
Mr. Charles Nsuameke – Tai, Miss. Rita Waate – Ken-Khana, Mr. Opnaatuka Nordu Eawo – Gokana, Miss Legborsi Tsaro Igbara – Babbe, Mr. Nation Nwafor – Eleme, Mr. Baritordum Manson – Ban Ogoi Special Area, Mr. D.S. Kanee – Ogonis in Diaspora and Mr. Egerebu Albert Ikeh – Youths/Students Representative.
Highlight of the programme was handing-over of petition written by KSWA against Shell’s alleged plan to resume oil production in Ogoni land to the Amnesty International Representative, Ms Babara Taft