The Ogoni Four, who were murdered on May 21, 1994, are:
1) Edward Kobani
2) Albert T. Badey
3) Samuel Orage
4) Theophilus Orage.
The murder of the four prominent Ogoni men from Giokoo, Gokana, on May 21, 1994, followed Lt. Col. Okuntimo’s order of “ruthless wasting operations,” to impose unrelenting military presence in Ogoni land, to foster Shell’s return to the area. The company’s vehement quest to resume oil drilling operations in Ogoni land resulted in the death of innocent people. It is the most contemptible scenario of coldness and social capriciousness ever recorded in the world, and that is what makes this day a day of soberness and recollection, as we honor their memories.
The following are the names of the Ogoni Nine who were executed on November 10, 1995:
5) Kenule Saro-Wiwa
6) Hon. (Dr.) Barinem Nubari Kiobel
7) John Kpuinen
8) Baribor Bera
9) Saturday Dobee
10) Paul Levura
11) Nordu Eawo
12) Daniel Gbooko
13) Felix Nuate.
Abacha’s government in collaboration with Shell (SPDC) humiliated the nine heroes before the executioner’s axe.
It does not seem like all these years have passed already; it feels like my husband and his compatriots, including the “Ogoni Four,” were killed just yesterday.
As all Ogonis, and the entire Human Rights community recount the story of these thirteen heroes, who were victims of Corporate and government-masterminded execution, I and my family, and – I am sure – the families of the rest of the slain men, are revisited with thoughts of how horrifying it was to lose our husbands and fathers and brothers and uncles in such a cruel manner.
I can never forget the nightmare of my husband’s death on Novermber 10, 1995. It was such a miserable day; I was treated with the worst improbability by fate. I cried, “eli eli lama sabachthani,” and I asked God, “Why would you let them kill my husband this way?” I did not know where to start from, my thinking faculty became static – everywhere and everything around me seemed motionless. I couldn’t fathom why man could be that cruel to fellow man. I couldn’t understand why Shell and the government would incriminate my husband and his kinsmen and execute them the way they did. I found it hard to swallow the fact that these heartless people would actually kill these innocent men who had done nothing wrong, other than demanding for their rights. It was such an ugly day, and I am certain the Heavens were trembling as the world witnessed such cruelty. No wonder, the clouds went dark forty minutes after my husband was killed, the fore-taste of which Ken Saro-Wiwa must have seen, when he christened the horrific day “a black day for the black man.”
It was so mortifying how their lifeless bodies were acidized. It was horrible how defenselessly they stood trial for a crime they did not commit, simply because they were statesmen with respected pedigree, who fought for the rights of their people.
As we honor their heroic memories today, my desire is that God may continue to strengthen us in our fight to vindicate them. Shell must be taught a lesson that they cannot get away with their evil deeds. The bloods of these innocent men mentioned above will not let them rest. It is a big shame that the Nigerian government was complacent with the mistreatment of their citizenry by a foreign corporation, and even connived with the company to kill innocent people.
My heart is so heavy today. But I know that God is my strength.
As written by Esther Barinem Kiobel
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