The Nigerian Government has been tasked to set up a judicial panel of inquiry to revisit the murders of Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni activists over false allegations.
The judicial panel of inquiry is also expected to investigate the arbitrary arrests, maiming and killings that forced many Ogoni indigenes to flee and go into exile.
These were recommendations by environmental rights organizations at the 25th memorial environmental summit in honour of Ken Saro Wiwa which was convened by Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA).
At the end of the summit themed – ‘25 years after Ken Saro-Wiwa: The Nigerian Environment and Lessons Not Learnt!’, participants want the Nigerian Government to immediately exonerate the late Ken Saro-Wiwa and his Ogoni compatriots of the false allegations for which they were unjustly and brutally murdered.
The communiqué issued at the end of the summit also noted that, “Nigeria pays the Ogoni nation an ecological debt for decades of pollution, neglect of their polluted environment, displacement of her people and denying them justice.
The need for the Ogoni clean-up was also raised, noting that, “the Nigerian Government removes existing hurdles and accelerate the clean-up of the devastated Ogoni environment and indeed the entire Niger Delta
“The Nigerian government halts the construction of a prison yard in Ogoniland and instead, supports the plans by Ogoni people for a Ken Saro Wiwa Memorial Park and the construction of a Research Center of Excellence and other emergency measures recommended by the UNEP in its Assessment report,” it added.
While delivering his keynote address titled – “The Ogoni Struggle and Unending Quest for Environmental Justice in Nigeria” Dr. Nnimmo Bassey, Director of HOMEF, explained that twenty five years after the tragic activities that culminated in the killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his eight Ogoni kinsmen, Shell and other fossil fuels industry actors are still in the business of denial as they continue the wanton destruction of the Niger Delta and Nigerian environment.