RIVERS, Nigeria – A group in Rivers State, the Consciousness of Ogoni People (COOP) has vowed to fight the Federal Government to the end over the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni prominent leaders.
The late General Sani Abacha-led military junta on November 10, 1995, convicted and hanged the Ogoni martyrs: Saro-Wiwa, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbokoo, Paul Levura, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel and John Kpuinen.
COOP, formerly known as Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates (KSWA), reiterated its demand that the Federal Government should clear the late nine Ogoni leaders of wrongdoings and review the judicial proceedings that convicted them.
National Leader of the group, Gani Topba, who spoke on the occasion marking the 24th anniversary of the judicial murder of ‘Ogoni 9’, in Port Harcourt on Monday, expressed optimism that their legal tussle against the Federal Government to the Supreme Court would not be in vain.
Topba noted that the military verdict against Saro-Wiwa and others “fell far short of all civilized rules of decency and fair hearing.”
He added, “For us in the Conscience of Ogoni People (formerly Ken Saro Wiwa Associates), you are all aware of how far we have gone in this struggle. The first task we assumed was to engage the Federal authorities to take steps towards clearing the ‘Ogoni Nine’ of all wrongdoings and upturning their convictions.
“When this failed, we commenced a fundamental rights enforcement action against the Federal Government of Nigeria at the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court.
“Fellow Ogoni, we are hopeful that the Supreme Court justices will do justice to the Ogoni heroes.
“We urge all Ogoni to continue to keep the faith as we are certain that God is on our side and we shall win. We further urge all Ogoni to remain law-abiding and pray for our collective success in actualizing the visions of our heroes.”