The Board of Directors of Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation (KSWF) had reportedly rejected the proposal by President Muhammadu Buhari to grant a posthumous pardon to Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni activists who were sentenced to death on 10th November, 1995, by a special military tribunal set up by the Nigerian Government under General Sani Abacha, for allegedly fighting for the rights of their people.
According to them, they have not asked any individual to ask for pardon or clemency for Ken Saro-Wiwa on our behalf, nor are we aware of any group of Ogonis making such a request. They added that, Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other Eight Ogoni activists were not criminals, they were innocent activists unjustly sentenced to death for fighting for a just cause on behalf of their oppressed community. "The family and the Foundation have not asked any individual to ask for pardon or clemency for Ken Saro-Wiwa on our behalf, nor are we aware of any group of Ogonis making such a request," KSWF said.
Reports gathered that, Dr. Owen Wiwa, in a statement he signed for the board of directors, asked the President to grant the earlier request for the exoneration of Saro-Wiwa and eight others made by the family of the late activist.
Part of the statement read: “Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other Eight Ogonis were not criminals. They were innocent activists unjustly murdered for fighting for a just cause on behalf of their oppressed community. Their exoneration is another step towards peace. The family of Ken Saro-Wiwa have made a request for the exoneration of Ken Saro-Wiwa to the President in the past and are still waiting for a response. We urge the President to again consider this request as a path to justice and peace."
Recall that, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, when he received some leaders of Ogboni land, led by His Majesty King Godwin N.K. Giniwa (the President of the Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers), at the State House, Abuja, reportedly declared his intention to grant a posthumous pardon to Ken Saro-Wiwa and the eight other Ogoni activists.
Reports gathered that, the president disclosed this in a statement on Friday, 22nd October, 2021.
The statement read: "Despite the grievous circumstances, the Federal Government will consider the request for the grant of pardon to finally close the Ogoni saga. Furthermore, we are committed to ensuring clemency and national integration as part of this Administration’s bid to lay the foundation for genuine reconciliation and bring closure to the issues of Ogoni Land. The unfortunate incidents of the early 1990s leading to the loss of lives of distinguished sons of Ogoni Land and the collateral judicial processes are indelible in our memories."
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