Saro-Wiwas vs. SPDC: Effect Of Disinformation In Ogoniland

By Odimegwu Onwumere
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The hallmark conception among many Nigerians, who want to be in a POSITION by magic or design, is to initiate subtle propagation of truth cleverly wrapped in lies. In response to the genuine desire of truth seekers, disinformation artists deliberately add fuel to the fires of conviction, sabotaging any leeway that honest seekers would ever uncover the truth. That is the problem in Ogoniland.

Fourteen years is gone since Ken Saro-Wiwa and his other Ogonis were killed by the Federal Government in alliance with the SPDC's misconduct in Ogoni. Let us ask ourselves this: Do you kill a man when you enter his house and he realized that you do not deserve admittance and ask you to go? Do you enter a man's house and begin to rearrange his decour after finding that you don't like it? This is for us to judge the needs of the Ogonis from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria PLC (SPDC) and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FG) that led to the death of the well revered Mr. Albert Badey and three other Ogoni reputable chiefs (otherwise called Ogoni-4) in the hands of recalcitrant mobs allegedly loyal to the much-touted Ken-Saro Wiwa.

The question today is: did the men deserve their death? They were killed like the Iraq's Saddam Hussein whom George W. Bush Misinformation Ministry labeled he had gaseous substance worthy of destroying the human race. That was the same way the Ken-Saro Wiwa Misinformation Ministry brainwashed the Ogonis that Mr. Albert Badey and the other three that summed-up the Ogoni-4 were hatching ideas that were capable of setting the Ogoni people back; the misinformed or perhaps the illiterate youths swung on the four innocent men and killed them and took their lifeless bodies away since May 1994 till date.

No one can tell Nigerians that the LION was not wrong to devour the baby impala Mr. Albert Badey. No one will tell Nigerians that there was nothing wrong with the entrenched self-serving nature of the Heralded Ken-Saro Wiwa and his folks alike that saw to the death of a patriot, Mr. Albert Badey.

The coming of SPDC in Ogoni led to the lost of the respected tranquility of the people, with the SPDC's exhibition stoking of the rule of lucre instead of the rule of law implanted in the British colonial masters' mentality of divide and rule theorem.

Like the SPDC, Saro-Wiwa became a fan of mischief and campaigns for elongation of his name to the West end, because as a writer and a media man, he never saw Mr. Albert Badey reasons why him (Saro-Wiwa) should not throw the entire Ogoni people into the wrath of the federal troops, which was what later happened after Saro-Wiwa's misinformation ministry informed the Ogonis that Albert Badey was against their STRUGGLE and Albert Badey was killed by youths allegedly loyal to Saro-Wiwa.

Saro-Wiwa, from the sayings from many quarters, did not want anybody to challenge his beam of rising to the level where he could literally gridlock the political system or where he would specifically target at people like Mr. Albert Badey whose life needed not to be disrupted to make him (Saro-Wiwa) respond to popular will. Saro-Wiwa encouraged all of his subscribers and each one of the European visitors to his “web site” to join in his Ogoni unprecedented national effort and to devote whatever time or resources they can to making his miracle happen. His position was like: If we have to pulverize the wheels of government to a halt, let's do it, it is our oil, and Iwill make more money.

Except for one thing – self-aggrandizement – Saro-Wiwa's service was like the Bush's report to his surrogates when he embarked on the ultra-selfish war in Iraq, to capture Saddam Hussein; and Mr. Albert Badey was captured and killed with his body carried away by the Saro-Wiwa-led Ogoni 'government'. But Nigerians are made to believe today that Sar-Wiwa's 'government' was a maleficent force of evil, taking advantage of the weak in its never-ending 'war' against the 'infidels' (like Mr. Albert Badey). But Saro-Wiwa perhaps didn't know that yet, once Nigerians recall and take a closer look at his service to the Ogonis, a lot of things that happened under his 'government' will be more re-focused.

Ogoni people were a peaceful race and hardworking people. Abundance of natural resources, especially hydrocarbons, without doubt, locks in Ogoniland. Was Ogoni not among the oil producing communities that made Nigeria one of the largest oil producer in the world? Was Ogoni not the third largest oil producer in Rivers State and the most prolific oil producer in Rivers State? But why did the SPDC denied not humiliating the people was a fact that couldn't meet the eyes.

Nigerians wonder today why the SPDC paid $15. 5 million to the family of Saro-Wiwa whereas the SPDC once denied the fact to its shareholders, to the press and to the public, when Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni began accusing Shell of operating in collusion with the Nigerian military to suppress decency. Shell consistently and categorically denied this claim from 1994 to 2009 it agreed paying this money.

A report says, in a press conference to 'refute the inaccuracies' of an article by the Sunday Times, former Director of Shell Nigeria, Brian Anderson, claimed that “We have played no part in any military operations against the Ogoni people, or any other communities in the Niger Delta, and we have never been approached for financial or logistical support for any action.” Anderson conceded that Shell had paid the military, but only on two occasions and then cast doubt on whether human rights abuses occurred on either of these occasions.

But while the Saro-Wiwa family accepted this money without being considerate to the STRUGGLE Ogonis joined hand in, is it not a blow, not only below the belt of the Badeys, but to all the Ogonis who lost their kiths and kins in that STRUGGLE that perhaps Saro-Wiwa misled them to die so that only his family would be compensated because he attracted pity to himself through the media support to enrich his family? Who is talking about the STRUGGLE again? Where Mr. Albert Badey was killed to pave way for the Saro-Wiwas “death gratuity” of all the Ogonis? What is the Government of Rivers State under the able leadership of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi saying over this matter? The government, without doubt, has the right to charge the SPDC to court for denial of humiliating the Ogonis and caused unrest in the state, but later accepted humiliating them as the world have seen “THE EVIDENCE SHELL PAID $15.5 MIL USD TO KEEP A JURY FROM SEEING”.

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), and a Media Consultant based in Rivers State. Mobile: +2348032552855 +2348032552855. Email: [email protected]

Development / Accra / Ghana / Africa /