Don urges politicians to emulate Ken Saro-Wiwa’s selfless lifestyle
Oyo ANA honours his memory
A renowned writer and dramatist, Prof. Bode Sowande, has urged politicians to emulate the selfless lifestyle of the late environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa.
Sowande made the appeal at the weekend in Ibadan, at the November Special Reading by the Oyo State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA).
He described the late environmental activist as a selfless leader who was killed because he was socially relevant and popular.
Saro-Wiwa, a television producer and prominent member of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) was killed during the late General Sani Abacha’s regime.
He was killed alongside eight others in November 10,1995 for demanding justice for the Ogoni people of Rivers State.
Sowande spoke on: “Life and Death of Ken Saro-Wiwa-Lessons for Today’s Politics.”
The former newspaper columnist remarked that the killing of Saro-Wiwa gave the Abacha’s government its worst experience.
He explained: “Circumstances could make a saint to become a demon. Saro-Wiwa’s death gave birth to Radio Freedom and Radio Kudirat. As at that time, it was hot for Abacha.”
He stressed how some intellectuals and activists used their creativity to make the country hot for Abacha for killing the activist.
The renowned author dismissed the insinuations that the late activist’s killing was fallout of his inability to find a way into the Abacha’s cabinet.
“He was a victim of propaganda. He was the most articulate of his peers, moving faster than others. He was a businessman and stockbroker. He was rich, because he didn’t believe that a writer should be poor. He made money legitimately,” he said.
Sowande, who was the National Secretary of ANA, when Saro-Wiwa was the National President, said the late activist was democratic in his actions.
He disclosed that he had documented the intrigues about Saro-Wiwa’s life in a book titled: ‘Long Story,” recalling that he was a theatre art teacher at the University of Ibadan, who “had a generous nature.”
Also, the Oyo State chairman of ANA, Mr. Funso Omotoso, said one of the reasons for organising the event was to honour the late activist to ensure the sustenance of the legacy that he left behind.
Omotosho urged politicians to define noble causes that they could lay their lives for, like Saro-Wiwa, rather than being obsessed with personal interest.
Also, a human right activist, Martin Omobude, who was the lead speaker at the event, said the activist was someone who was not ready to bend at any time.
Omobude, who is the Editor-in-Chief of Human Right Focus newspaper, urged activists to be ready to suffer some losses, adding: “You can’t fight government without scars.”