October 19, 2010
On November 10 1995, renowned Ogoni environmental activist Mr. Ken Saro-Wiwa was hanged without fair trial by the Nigerian Military Government. His death and the deaths of 8 other Ogoni leaders that day drew to a close his personal campaign to cease the devastation of the land, water and sky of the Niger Delta, but sparked international outrage and greater scrutiny of corporate greed in light of political marginalisation of minorities. Nigeria was suspended from the UK Commonwealth, but as years have passed, memories have faded and impetus waned.
Saro-Wiwa was a prolific writer who used literature to challenge the status quo. He was a founding Member and President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), an organisation whose very name epitomises the vulnerability of the population. MOSOP was admitted to UNPO in 1993 and soon after Saro-Wiwa became Vice Chair of UNPO, a position he held until his death. It was through UNPO that he first came to Europe to describe the devastation in the Delta. As a result of his eloquence and passion, the plight of the Ogoni people hit Time Magazine and CNN.
UNPO has continued to campaign for greater involvement of the Ogoni people in the decision making processes that affect their long-term livelihoods. Equally, Ogonis have taken leading roles in the running of UNPO; current MOSOP President, Mr. Ledum Mitee completed two terms as UNPO President in May 2010.
We continue to advocate nonviolent strategies to diffuse the tension in the region and promote peace and prosperity. This year marks the 15th anniversary of Saro-Wiwa’s death and UNPO is working alongside 8 Dutch and international NGOs to honour his cause by holding a major international commemorative event on November 10 2010. The details follow below, but more information can be found on the specially designed website: www.CleanTheNigerDelta.org. For more information please contact UNPO at unpo[at]unpo.org or info[at]cleanthenigerdelta.org
Wednesday November 10, 2010
Public Event and Debate
The Plein, The Hague 17.30 – 19.30
On this day exactly 15 years after the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa, activists around the world will hit the streets to commemorate his death and draw attention to his nonviolent cause.
Commemorative Concert in memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa
Paard van Troje, The Hague, 19.30
Nneka “Standing before history”
“A husky, supple voice […] adept at blasting out guitar anthems and sauntering through neo-soul rave-ups.” Rollingstone Magazine Review 2010
Winner of the 2009 British MOBO award for ‘Best African Act’, Nigerian-born hip hop and soul singer and songwriter, Nneka throws a bit of Bob Marley, a measure of Nina Simone and a lick of Eryka Badu into her soulful recipe. The concert pays tribute to the life and campaigns of Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, executed in 1995. Followed by DJ Kingsley til midnight.
Short film – photo exhibition – books – music - dancing – DJ Kingsley
Sunday November 14, 2010
Commemorative church service
Covenant Word International Ministry, Rotterdam, 11.30am
For more information on the event and other commemorative activities and to watch videos of Nneka, go to www.CleanTheNigerDelta.org
Also, find us on facebook:
Public gathering: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=145891572122723
Nneka Concert: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=133849223330883
Church service: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=102962299768802