GODWIN Abe, a former senator from Rivers State, has expressed shock and sadness over the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa junior, the son of the late Kenule Beeson Saro Wiwa, an environmentalist and human rights activist. Abe said he received with shock and disbelief the news of the tragic death of Saro-Wiwa junior, and for hours he could not fully comprehend the tragedy.
“This is indeed a great loss not only to the Ogoni people but to Nigeria. People have been calling me to ask why Ken junior? Why now? Why should a family and a people that have already sacrificed so much for Nigeria and the Niger Delta be required to make yet another sacrifice? I have no answers. In trying to look for answers I end up with more questions.
“The death of Ken junior like the death of the late Oronto Douglas before him is a deep and painful cut into the intellectual heart of the struggle for a better Nigeria. A nation more just to all its citizens, a country that “though tribe and tongue may differ” no one will be oppressed, and all Nigerians will truly be proud to serve as their sovereign motherland (in the words of our old national anthem),” Abe said in a statement.
He said that with the death of Saro-Wiwa junior, the struggle of Ogoni people had suffered another tragic loss. “Outside the shadow of his father, Ken junior was a nationalist and an intellectual in his own right. His deep concern for his people, the clarity of his ideas on the way forward for Nigeria, were not just inherited because he was the son of Ken Saro Wiwa, they were also products of his own experiences and understanding of his country,” he said.
The former senator recalled some conversations and arguments he had with him to join active partisan politics, which he declined. He said they both disagreed often not just about what politics should be used to achieve in Nigeria, “but even about the nature and direction of politics in Nigeria, yet even where we could not agree he was always friendly and accessible, polite and respectful and forever smiling.”
Abe said the Ogoni people would miss Saro-Wiwa junior as much as Nigeria and members of his family. “I offer my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences that God almighty will grant them grace to overcome this painful and tragic loss. Goodnight my brother. May heaven receive you as you reunite with your beloved father and brother,” Abe said.
Saro-Wiwa jnr, 47, reportedly died of stroke in London. He was a journalist.
— Oct 19, 2016 @ 18:20 GMT