20 years ago today, environmental crusader and human right activist, Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa and eight other leaders from Ogoniland, were sentenced to death by hanging by a Tribunal set up by the military junta of late Gen Sani Abacha.
But 20 years after, the issues he fought against in the Niger Delta region are still causing disafections, and unrest.
As a literary icon, Saro-Wiwa wrote a number of books which have stood the test of time, and remain relevant and instructive till date.
Various activities were lined up today by various activists to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death.
A sculpture created as a memorial to Saro-Wiwa and the eight other activists sent as a gift to mark the 20th anniversary of their execution was denied entry into Nigeria.
Customs officials impounded Sokari Douglas Camp’s sculpture, in the form of a steel bus, when it arrived at Lagos port on September 8, on grounds of its “political value”. Leaflets and reports sent by courier to commemorate Saro-Wiwa’s life and death were also seized.
Efforts by the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, Social Action and other pressure groups have failed to secure the work’s release and a memorial vigil in Bori-Ogoni may have to go ahead without it.
Some of his timeless books include:
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