The Ogoni Nine were a group of nine activists from the Ogoni region of Nigeria who opposed the operating practices of the Royal Dutch Shell oil corporation. Their members included outspoken author and playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine.[1][2] p.189

In 1990, in response to the continued violations against the Ogoni people by the oil industry and the Nigerian state, Ken Saro-Wiwa founded the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). This movement consisted of over seven hundred thousand Ogoni people, all campaigning for social, economic, and environmental justice through nonviolent resistance and protest. MOSOP published the Ogoni Bill of Rights,[3] which aimed to realize political and economic autonomy for the Ogoni people and protect Ogoniland from further environmental degradation. The bill called on international governments and development institutions to stand in solidarity with the Ogoni people and protect activists from political persecution by Nigeria's federal government.[4]

Saro-Wiwa had previously been a critic of the Royal Dutch Shell oil corporation, and had been imprisoned for a year. After multiple arrests, he and eight of his fellow leaders were put on trial under the pretext that the group had incited the murder of four Ogoni chiefs. The trial was widely discredited, with critics worldwide speaking out against the military dictatorship of General Sani Abacha, who was then in power. Despite that, the Nine were found guilty, and on the morning of November 10 1995, they were executed by hanging.[5] They were buried in Port Harcourt Cemetery.[6]

The executions provoked international condemnation and led to the increasing treatment of Nigeria as a pariah state until General Abacha's mysterious death in 1998.

At least two witnesses who testified that Saro-Wiwa was involved in the murders of the Ogoni elders later recanted, stating that they had been bribed with money and offers of jobs with Shell to give false testimony – in the presence of Shell's lawyer.[7]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Rowell, Andy (2020-11-10). "Dear Shell: After 25 years, are you finally willing to accept your role in the murder of Ogoni 9?". Oil Change International. Retrieved 2022-10-31.
  2. ^ Tripathi, Salil. "Praise the Lord and Buy Insurance", Index on Censorship Volume 34, Number 4, 2005. p.188–192. ISSN 0306-4220.
  3. ^ Today, remembering the Ogoni Bill of Rights,, Nov 10, 2017.
  4. ^ Remembering Nigeria’s Ogoni 9, Murdered for Their Organizing Against Shell. Jacobin, 11 Nov. 13 2021.
  5. ^ "No Justice For Widows of Executed Nigerian Ogoni 9 at Hague Court". 2022-03-24. Retrieved 2022-10-31.
  6. ^ "Nigeria's Military Leaders Hang Playwright And 8 Other Activists". Deseret News Publishing Company. 1995-11-11. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
  7. ^ The Case Against Shell