Nigerian security forces this weekend raided several Ogoni villages in the southeastern part of the oil rich West African country and arrested dozens of independence activists in a bid to stop annual Ogoni Day celebrations.
Activists are demanding autonomy for the 500,000 Ogoni people in Nigeria as well as compensation from oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell for the environmental devastation caused to Ogoniland.
The plight of the Ogoni burst onto the international scene in 1995 when Ogoni activist and internationally renowned author Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed along with eight others by the Nigerian military regime of General Soni Abacha. Shell Oil, which pumps around half of Nigeria’s two million barrels per day of crude, allegedly encouraged the Abacha dictatorship to crackdown on Ogoni activists.
- Owens Wiwa, a member of the steering committee of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People or MOSOP.
- Ledum Mtee, the acting director of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People or MOSOP.