By: Chinedu Jideofo-Ogbuagu He deserves pity! Never believed Abacha would confirm his death sentence! From Oputa panel revelations, on the day of his execution,...

By: Chinedu Jideofo-Ogbuagu

He deserves pity! Never believed Abacha would confirm his death sentence!
From Oputa panel revelations, on the day of his execution, unable to face his fate with fortitude because he believed that his sentence would be commuted.
When they came for him, he kept on asking if Abacha was aware?
He Resisted being led to the execution point, kept on protesting for time as he expected reprieve would come at the 11th hour.
To calm him, he was shown the execution order signed by Abacha, but he frantically denounced it as fake, demanding audience with Abacha immediately.
The officer commanding the squad, a junior officer told him, the only report his superiors would listen to would be report of his death and nothing else.
Wiwa reverted to telling his killers how close he was to Abacha.
The afternoons they spent playing tennis at 2nd Artillery brigade in port Harcourt in the 70s.
The nice evenings they used to have.
That during the Ogoni protests, he had expected Abacha to have called him based on old times and ask him, the least the Ogoni would have accepted.
Unfortunately, good information, bad recipients.
The order had been given to kill him.
It was not the wishes of those in the execution squad to be there
But it was their duty to carry out the order.
If the young captain refuses to carry out the order, he would be demoted, among other punishments.
And frankly, did he owe anything to Saro Wiwa?
When he was parambulating and gallivanting with Abacha, was the Captain there?
Why should he now jeopardize his career for someone who enjoyed with the person who now seeks his death?
The more the officer reflects, the more he got convinced that Saro intends to pour sand into his gari.
Saro seeing the reflective mood of the captain, thought he was communicating to him and looked back at his companion in death with renewed hopes. But saw in their smoky eyes, hopelessness reflected.
Please God, let my pleas work..
His eyes were greasy with welling tears.
Why should today be his last day on earth?
What crimes did he commit?
That he asked for his people to have a share of the wealth that comes from their land?
The land that no longer supports farming or fishing because of oil spillage.
He mistook the officer’s dark reflections for contemplations of pity!
Any independent observer would conclude that Saro deserves pity and more.
He had worked for it.
His efforts during the civil war shortened the duration and saved thousands of Nigerian soldiers lives..
You see, while the biafran blocked Omanelu and Isiokpo axis through Elele Junction, Saro was able to organise guides who guided the Nigerian soldiers to infiltrate through Etche, Alulu, link up to Ihiagwa and Nekede, connect Obosima and cutoff the biafran soldiers who had successfully blocked the 3rd Marine Commandos Advance led by Black Scorpion.
He was rewarded with appointment as the Civilian Administrator of the port city of Bonny.
And it was really this bit of history that was the bone of contention.
He rightly or wrongly believed he had equal stake in the territory called Nigeria, having staked his life and helped in defeating those who were neigbours to him.
So, the shares of spoils of war, for which oil was the paramount spoil should be extended to his people, because without their efforts it would have been more difficult to subdue biafra, remember the 3rd Marine Commandos were eventually routed from Owerri, just before the end of the war, wherein Black Scorpion !among the few to escape, had to escape dressed as a woman, for which he was court marshalled and dishonourably discharged.
On the other hand, his erstwhile partners in conquest, believed they have more than adequately rewarded him by making him an administrator of the city of bonny and also making him a commissioner in Rivers State.
So he should keep off the oil, whether it was drilled from his village or not.
Posterity would judge who was right between him and those Abacha represented.
For me as a scholar, I believe his requests or demands were in other. Eye wey see deal, the follow share.
The child who pounded the pepper is entitled to a share.
But you see, he was not really the recipient of the message, for him, his fate had been decided, the day he asked about the oil.
Rather the recipients of the message were other people from the oil producing communities who would dare to ask questions of what’s happening to their oil.
At that point, the captain gave his orders and he was lifted up, struggling and protesting till he was tied up and shot.
When the question of the whereabouts of his body was raised, at Oputa panel, one of the soldiers giving evidence reported that it was completely dissolved in acid.
☝🏾This is an intelligent narrative beautifully written.
But I should add that Mr Saro-Wiwa – like Adaka Boro and many other “Niger Delta” youths who would betray their new republic – had studied at secondary school and university on Eastern Nigeria scholarship.
It should also be noted that because of Saro-Wiwa’s betrayal, he was also rewarded with countless number of “abandoned properties”, including some previously belonging to Chief John Anyaehie (late father of Barr Nnamdi Anyaehie, CoS to Governor Uzodinma).
Late Sani Abacha and late Saro-Wiwa onced lived together in one of the abandoned properties he had seized.
Saro-Wiwa was using the crisis he and others had created in the so-called Niger Delta to extort money from the government and International Oil Companies to live lavishly in foreign countries, particularly in the UK.
I knew some of his mansions in the UK because I moved in certain circles in that country in the 18+ years I studied and worked there.
His first son, Ken Jnr, now dead too, attended Eton (the best English public school) and drove Rolls Royce to school and nightclubs.
Ms Anita Roddick (owner of Body Shop) was Saro-Wiwa’s girlfriend and one of those who did all they could in the international community to try and save the man from being executed.
I must not end this addendum without stating that Saro-Wiwa and 8 of his accomplices were executed for the murder of 4 Ogoni chiefs, including Chief Kobani (Kenneth Kobani’s father) and Chief Kobara (Donu Kobara’s father). The 4 chiefs had served in Eastern Nigeria government and had supported Biafra.
Kenneth (lawyer) and Donu (writer) were acquainted with me in England, and I knew how hard they sought for justice for their fathers. They visited Abacha in that quest.
Also as a member of the Eminent Persons Group of the Nigeria High Commission, London and a guest commentator on British television channels like Channel 4 TV and Sky TV, I was both shocked and ashamed on viewing videos of corpses of the 4 murdered chiefs cut into pieces, cooked and eaten by their assailants – after Saro-Wiwa had directed them to “go get the vultures.”
As some Ogoni persons remember the “Ogoni 9” on the 25th anniversary of their execution, I hope they will spare a thought – however small – for the 4 chiefs they had been found guilty of murdering by a judicial process and sentenced to death. So, their execution was lawful.
Finally, recall that, before Saro-Wiwa’s arrest over the murders, he had run to the same Enugu and the same Chukwuemeka Odimegwu-Ojukwu he had betrayed, to ask for Igbo intervention in his murder case. It was then that Ojukwu uttered that immortal word “Okokorokoooo” to the frightened Ogoni man.
The meeting that Saro-Wiwa attended was at Hotel Presidential Enugu, built by Michael Okpara who had given Saro-Wiwa scholarship to Government College Umuahia – and also betrayed by Saro-Wiwa!