THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF KEN SARO-WIWA -- (Senate - November 10, 2005)
Mr. OBAMA. Mr. President, I rise today in support of a resolution submitted by Mr. Leahy, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Feingold, and myself on the 10th anniversary of Ken Saro-Wiwa's death. On November 10, 1995, a terrible injustice occurred when Mr. Saro-Wiwa and eight of his countrymen were hanged by Sani Abacha's regime in Nigeria. While we cannot undo that tragedy, we must never forget it.
Mr. Saro-Wiwa led the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, dedicated to defending the rights of his fellow Ogoni in the Niger Delta through nonviolent means. Over the course of his life, he had dozens of opportunities to take a different path, to stop speaking out, to let someone else intervene. Instead, he risked everything, over and over again, to call the world's attention to suffering and injustice, to demand action. In May 1994, Abacha responded by imprisoning Mr. Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni men, the Ogoni Nine, and unjustly accusing them of murder.
Ten years ago on this day, Mr. Saro-Wiwa is said to have told his executioners: ``Lord, take my soul, but the struggle continues.''
Sadly, the struggle has indeed continued for the Ogoni people, whose standard of living is among the lowest in the world, and whose oil rich land remains severely polluted. The names of the Ogoni Nine have yet to be cleared, and they remain convicted of the crime for which they were unfairly tried and hanged.
This resolution acknowledges not only the tremendous legacy left by Ken Saro-Wiwa, but also the battles that remain to be