Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






Obasanjo reaches out to Ogoni, others at Saro-Wiwa's father's funeral

Posted by From Kelvin Ebiri, Port Harcourt on 2005/06/06 | Views: 413 |

Obasanjo reaches out to Ogoni, others at Saro-Wiwa's father's funeral


PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo has reiterated the determination of his administration to heal the wounds of the Ogoni and other aggrieved Nigerians brought about by the vicissitudes they suffered in the hands of previous governments.

PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo has reiterated the determination of his administration to heal the wounds of the Ogoni and other aggrieved Nigerians brought about by the vicissitudes they suffered in the hands of previous governments.

He also stated his conviction that the father of the later environmental rights activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Pa Jim Beeson Wiwa, died a placated man.

This, President Obasanjo, noted was brought about by the return of Ken's remains to the family.

In a condolence letter to the Saro-Wiwa family on the death of their Patriarch, Pa Jim Beeson Wiwa, who was buried at the weekend in his native Bane, President Obasanjo observed that though most Nigerians did not know much about the late Pa Wiwa, while his son Ken engaged the Nigerian State and multinational oil companies on what he called environmental degradation and deprivation of the Ogoni the benefit of sharing in the proceeds accruable to them from the oil extracted from the area, the old man himself had paid his dues.

He said Pa Wiwa had paid his dues as a teacher, trader and community leader over the years. He added that from his stint as an interpreter for Europeans arising from his proficiency in English, Ibibio and Khana way back in 1925, to his service as executive councillor in the Ogoni Native Authority in 1928, he had lived a life of service.

"For a man who was over 90 years old when he lost his son, late Saro Wiwa in 1995, Pa Beeson Wiwa emerged a father with inimitable courage, boundless energy and exemplary strength of character. He had a most positive attitude to life, a situation which enabled him even in old age to sustain the flame of his son's struggle, refusing to be heartbroken," he said.

President Obasanjo described the demise of Wiwa at the age of 101 years as a rear achievement, particularly in these days of youthful deaths and mysterious tragedies.

He prayed that God would grant his children, kinsmen, the wisdom and strength to sustain his legacy of service and fortitude to bear the grief of his passage.

Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili, in his address at the funeral service, said those left behind by the renowned Ogoni environmentalist and his father would continue to keep the flame of the struggle burning.

According to Odili, Wiwa's name has come to mean a lot to lovers of freedom and justice across the world.

He noted that despite the great tragedy that befell the family in the brutal killing of Saro-Wiwa in November, 1995, it was instructive that Pa Wiwa, who was to die 10 years after, continued to conduct himself like the real Christian he was, displaying rare attributes of forgiveness, humility and love.

The governor added that though Wiwa lived in simple dignity, his life was full of valuable lessons for all humanity.

"At this difficult moment in the life of the Wiwa family, we urge you all to take solace in God's promises and to give thanks to the Almighty God for the gift of such a rare and wonderful father and grandfather, and the many years of guidance, support and good counsel that late Pa Wiwa provided for you all," he said.

Odili promised to transform Bane community within the next one year by providing it with certain basic amenities that the place currently lacks.

Present at the funeral, which took place at St. Augustine's Anglican Church, Bane were the governor, his wife, Mary, the Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, Transport Minister, Abiye Sekibo, Rivers State Finance Commissioner, Kenneth Kobani (son of one of the slain Ogoni four), members of the Rivers State Executive and activists of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP).

Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni were hanged on November 10, 1995 at the Port Harcourt prisons after being sentenced to death by a tribunal set up by the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.

Ken had engaged the Nigerian state and multinational oil companies in a battle of conscience over environmental degradation of Ogoniland.

Saro-Wiwa's execution was precipitated by the gruesome murder of four Ogoni chiefs at a public rally.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (3)

Gravatar
New
Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

Gravatar
New
Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

Gravatar
New
Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.