By Perez Brisibe
ABRAKA – A lecturer in the English and Literary Studies Department, Delta State University, DELSU, Abraka, Prof. Godini Darah, has described the death of the late President of the Movement of the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others, as the singular factor that paved the way for the Niger Delta struggle.
Prof. Darah, at the Ken Saro-Wiwa 20th Anniversary Lecture organised by the university’s Department of English and Literary Studies, took a swipe at the Nigerian military for its role in the hanging of Saro-Wiwa, stressing, “From antiquity, the primary duty of the military has been to invade, conquer and loot treasures.”
Darah, who is a former Chief of Staff to the Delta State Government, spoke on the topic, “Rethinking Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Niger Delta Question.”
According to him, “The hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his eight compatriots by the Nigerian government on November 10, 1995, marked a watershed in the struggles of the Niger Delta people to emancipate themselves from internal colonial yoke.”
“Despite the fact that MOSOP conducted its programme largely through petitions, rallies and did not bear arms nor set up guerrilla wings, the late Gen. Sani Abacha led military government fabricated charges against MOSOP’s leadership, arranged a kangaroo trial and sentenced them to death.
“The ideals of self-determination, democracy and justice that inspired the struggle for independence are yet to be met and this is an eloquent reminder of the unfulfilled aspirations and demonstrations by advocates of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB.”
Other speakers at the event include a former Commissioner for Basic and Primary Education in Delta State, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, DELSU Vice Chancellor, Professor Victor Peretomode, Professors Rose Aziza, Abel Diakpomre, Victor Jike and Dr. Wilfred Ehwarieme.