The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People has said it will not approach the Federal Government for a presidential pardon for late environmentalist and activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and eight others who were hanged by the Gen. Sani Abacha military regime.
MOSOP stated that since Saro-Wiwa and eight of their kinsmen did not commit the offence for which they were killed, it would be inappropriate for them to ask government to grant them (Ogoni Nine) amnesty.
Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists were hanged on November 10, 1995, on the orders of a tribunal set up by the then military regime.
Media Adviser to MOSOP President, Mr. Bariala Kpalap, explained that rather than approach government for pardon, the body had taken steps to demand that the Federal Government should invalidate the ruling of the tribunal that sentenced Saro-Wiwa and eight others to death.
Kpalap, who spoke in a telephone interview on Friday with Sunday Punch, insisted that the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government must clear the names of the ‘Ogoni Nine.’
Kpalap said, “The fact is that Ogoni people through MOSOP have been asking for the names of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others to be cleared.
“The truth is that if people who were rightly convicted of corruption could be granted presidential pardon, why would the names of those who were wrongfully hanged not be cleared?”
Similarly, the Ogoni Solidarity Forum told Sunday Punch in an interview that it was not necessary for the people of Ogoni to ask the Federal Government to pardon Saro-Wiwa and eight others.
National Coordinator of the forum, Mr. Celestine Akpobari, described the presidential pardon granted to former Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, and others as an attempt to take Nigeria back to the bad book of Transparency International.
“If such people could be pardoned by the President, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni indigenes that were murdered should at least be on the first list of those to benefit from such gesture.
“Look at the set of people they gave national award. Today, corrupt people worship with Jonathan every Sunday in Aso Rock. But the point is that we are not asking for pardon for Saro-Wiwa; we are asking the Federal Government to quash the judgment against them,” Akpobari stressed.