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FLASHBACK| Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Final Statement to Military Tribunal

by on June 10, 2016
 

Date: Mon, 13 Nov 95 23:01:00 PSTM

My lord,

We all stand before history. I am a man of peace, of ideas. Appalled by the denigrating poverty of my people who live on a richly endowed land, distressed by their political marginalization and economic strangulation, angered by the devastation of their land, their ultimate heritage, anxious to preserve their right to life and to a decent living, and determined to usher to this country as a whole a fair and just democratic system which protects everyone and every ethnic group and gives us all a valid claim to human civilization, I have devoted my intellectual and material resources, my very life, to a cause in which I have total belief and from which I cannot be blackmailed or intiidated. I have no doubt at all about the ultimate success of my cause, no matter the trials and tribulations which I and those who believe with me may encounter on our journey. Nor imprisonment nor death can stop our ultimate victory.

I repeat that we all stand before history. I and my colleagues are not the only ones on trial. Shell is here on trial and it is as well that it is represented by counsel said to be holding a watching brief. The Company has, indeed, ducked this particular trial, but its day will surely come and the lessons learnt here may prove useful to it for there is no doubt in my mind that the ecological war that the Company has waged in the Delta will be called to question sooner than later and the crimes of that war be duly punished. The crime of the Company’s dirty wars against the Ogoni people will also be punished.

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On trial also is the Nigerian nation, its present rulers and those who assist them. Any nation which can do to the weak and disadvantaged what the Nigerian nation has done to the Ogoni, loses a claim to independence and to freedom from outside influence. I am not one of those who shy away from proesting injustice and oppression, arguing that they are expected in a military regime. The military do not act alone. They are supported by a gaggle of politicians, lawyers, judges, academics and businessmen, all of them hiding under the claim that they are only doing their duty, men and women too afraid to wash their pants of urine. We all stand on trial, my lord, for by our actions we have denigrated our Country and jeapordized the future of our children. As we subscribe to the sub-normal and accept double standards, as we lie and cheat openly, as we protect injustice and oppression, we empty our classrooms, denigrate our hospitals, fill our stomachs with hunger and elect to make ourselves the slaves of those who ascribe to higher standards, pursue the truth, and honour justice, freedom, and hard work. I predict that the scene here will be played and replayed by generations yet unborn. Some have already cast themselves in the role of villains, some are tragic victims, some still have a chance to redeem themselves. The choice is for each individual.

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I predict that the denoument of the riddle of the Niger delta will soon come. The agenda is being set at this trial. Whether the peaceful ways I have favoured will prevail depends on what the oppressor decides, what signals it sends out to the waiting public.

In my innocence of the false charges I face Here, in my utter conviction, I call upon the Ogoni people, the peoples of the Niger delta, and the oppressed ethnic minorities of Nigeria to stand up now and fight fearlessly and peacefully for their rights. History is on their side. God is on their side. For the Holy Quran says in Sura 42, verse 41: ‘All those that fight when oppressed incur no guilt, but Allah shall punish the oppressor.’ Come the day.

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–Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa

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  • Specs
    June 10, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    What a prophecy ! What a wasted intellectual !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! . Where are we going from here ?

    Reply

  • Me
    June 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Happening today

    Reply

  • June 11, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Comment…pls do not relent in your fight for justice n equality. God will see d Niger deltans through. I know vu have endure enough n God knows too. no pain no gain. u are close to d promise land. Nigeria has to b renegosiated now or huuun there will b no peace.

    Reply

  • June 11, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Comment…Saro a great leader a man who perceived what will happen to the Niger Deltans how I wish we have your type again this current struggle would have been a huge success Saro live on…

    Reply

  • sunnywhite
    June 11, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Comment…those politicians in niger delta will not listen because of money but nigeria just expired in 2014 so no going back in making sure that everybody go his way

    Reply

  • June 11, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Comment…I have a nightmare for Nigeria,that the innocent blood of this innocent man who was brutally executed for crying out loud against the injustices and ecological damages done to the Niger Deltans by the Nigerian Govt and oil companies,is crying from the depth of the earth for vengeance.The cup of the oppresor is finally full and judgement day is here.All Nigerians must beg God for mercy,our leaders have sinned.The present agitations by the Niger Delta Avengers is just the beginning of sorrows.No Political or military approach can stop it.

    Reply

  • Oscar
    June 11, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Yes! Right time, to splict from the cruelty of Nigerians

    Reply

  • Big fish
    June 11, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Comment… May his soul rest in peace amen. Words are like seeds which bear fruits tmorow via manifestation.

    Reply

  • June 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    well this suppration did not start today Nzeogwu fought for it Ojukwu fought for it even Saro Wiwa was against them which the same born to rule people gave him the property of IBO as abandoned property. Good Morning Niger Deltans

    Reply

  • modulus
    June 11, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Comment…exactly what is happening now.

    Reply

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