The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, and Platform held a vigil outside the Shell headquarters in London November 10th, 2015 on the 20th year anniversary of the execution Ken Saro-Wiwa. Artists, activists and communities members came together to read the biographies of the Ogoni 9 who were murdered on this day 20 years ago.
“If you destroy the environment you destroy us, as we and the environment are more or less the same. This is what Shell have done to the Ogoni environment. The Ogoni nine were executed on November 10, 1995 for Standing up against the Nigerian government and the multinational company Shell for the destruction of the Ogoni environment. Today we are remembering them for their braveness, the ultimate sacrifice that they have rendered for the Ogoni and other minorities in Niger Deltan and for humanity.” said Lazarus Taman from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP).
A memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 9 has been seized by Nigerian customs, which was intended to be part of the memorial in Ogoniland today. A life size steel bus with the names of the Ogoni 9, with the text “I accuse the oil companies of practising genocide” blazoned on the outside was created by British Nigerian artist Sokari Douglas Camp. The call to release the bus has gained international attention in the days running up to the 20th year anniversary. Protests to stop economic activity in Ogoniland are being planned in the next few days if the Nigerian government fails to release the memorial at the request of MOSOP and Social Action.
“While we stand in London today outside Shell’s headquarters communities in Ogoniland are calling for justice in the region. Shell’s legacy of pollution continues in the Niger Delta and clean up efforts have barely begun.” said Suzanne Dhaliwal from Platform who organised the vigil. “The Bus has become a call for Shell to clean up in Nigeria and also for the freedom of expression which was denied the Ogoni 9. The international community will not stand by while Shell stalls on it’s commitments to the people in Nigeria.”