Amnesty International (AI) Nigeria, on Wednesday, remembered the late writer and human rights activist – Ken Saro-Wiwa, Barinem Kiobel and seven others.
Collectively known as Ogoni Nine, the then military government of the late General Sani Abacha executed them.
Saro-Wiwa, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) co-founder, fought the government over environmental degradation and insisted that regulations be enforced.
He was tried and hanged after a special military tribunal found him guilty for allegedly planning the killing of Ogoni chiefs at a pro-government meeting.
The action generated international outrage which resulted in Nigeria’s suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations.
In a statement, Osai Ojigho, AI’s Director said twenty-six years “after the murder,” oil-producing communities of Ogoni and other Niger Delta localities are yet to get justice.
Ojigho regrets that the people have had to endure hundreds of oil spills that long devastated their livelihoods, health, access to clean water and food.
The rights organization said the situation demonstrates the failure of successive Nigerian authorities to respect and uphold national and international human rights obligations.
AI said years after the clean up of areas polluted by oil companies, as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the response has been slow as vast areas remain contaminated and dangerous.
Ojigho urged Nigerian authorities to take actions that will ensure justice for the people of the South-South.
“The Ogoni Nine and their families deserve justice now, as they were executed following a trial that was blatantly unfair.
“The people of the Niger Delta region must be protected from the appalling level of pollution and other environmental injustice.
“Authorities must establish safeguards to ensure that oil companies act responsibly and can be held to account.”
The director demanded implementation of the 2012 judgment by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court.
Ojigho said the court “found the Nigerian government responsible for abuses by oil companies and made it clear that the government must hold the companies and other perpetrators to account.”
Amnesty International charged the country’s leadership to stand up to powerful oil firms that have abused human rights with impunity for decades.