FORMER Niger Delta agitator Sobomabo Jackrich has said the region remains volatile because the Federal Government refused to address issues that led to the execution of the Ogoni Nine led by the late Kenule Saro-Wiwa.
Jackrich, in a statement to commemorate the death of the Ogoni Nine, urged the government to exonerate Saro-Wiwa and pursue the realisation of the issues which led to their death.
He said: “It is with pain and a bleeding heart that I join the world to remember the unjust killing of the Ogoni Nine, led by the renowned playwright and environmental rights activist, Kenule Saro-wiwa, 25 years after they were killed by the Gen. Sani Abacha-led government on November 10, 1995.
“Saro-Wiwa, like Isaac Boro, inspired many of us in this struggle, and it hurts that we are still dealing with the issues they died for.
“Saro-Wiwa raised valid questions that have troubled the average Niger Delta person, environment and the minority tribes. As such, the unjust conviction and murder of Saro-Wiwa and others in 1995 can be regarded as a conviction and killing of the peoples of the Niger Delta who have continued to demand for resource ownership and control, environmental justice, devolution of powers and others.
“As long as these questions remain unaddressed, they remain an indictment on the Nigerian State which continues to survive economically and, in every way, on the resources that solely come from the Niger Delta.
“As a leader in the Niger Delta who has been in the forefront of justice for our region, I join the Ogoni to demand for the exoneration of the Ogoni Nine, and also urge the Federal Government to give attention to the questions of the Niger Delta, total environmental impact assessment and repair of the region and compensation, necessary environmental justice, proper stakeholder engagement with the people, resource ownership and control, devolution of power and the total restructuring of Nigeria.
“I call on the government to stop criminalising the people’s agitations because a right can never be a gift or a privilege.”