Posted by News Express | 20 October 2016 | 1,909 times
Top government officials, including President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, DG, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside and APC chieftain Magnus Abe on Wednesday expressed deep shock over the demise of the son of renowned Nigerian environmental rights activist, late Ken Saro-Wiwa, in London. Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr, 47, reportedly passed on after suffering a stroke.
A statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, “President Muhammadu Buhari extends heartfelt condolences to the Saro-Wiwa family as well as the government and people of Rivers State on the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa Jnr.
“The President also commiserates with the people of Ogoni Kingdom over the passage of their illustrious son, author and environmental activist, who was an ardent believer in the unity, progress and stability of his community.
“President Buhari joins them in mourning the sudden and painful passing of a promising Nigerian whose willingness and dedication to the clean-up of Ogoni land inspired a healing process in Nigeria after the death of his father, Ken Saro-Wiwa.
“As the world mourns Saro-Wiwa Jnr, the President believes the commitment of the journalist in serving three Nigerian presidents in various capacities clearly exemplifies his patriotism, statesmanship and foresightedness.
“President Buhari, who has initiated the process of cleaning up the Niger Delta region, urges family, friends and associates to honour Saro-Wiwa’s memory by making his dream of an environmentally safe, secured and prosperous Ogoni land a reality.
“The President prays that the Almighty God will comfort all who mourn the deceased and grant his soul eternal rest.”
Similarly, Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser, (Media & Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, described the death as a monumental loss not only to the people of Niger Delta, but to the country and the world at large.
He said: “I am shocked by the news of the untimely death of Saro-Wiwa Jr. This is one young man that has not only stepped into the shoes of his late father in fighting for the rights of the people, but has amply demonstrated his capacity as a leader in some of the private and national assignments undertaken by him. It is so sad that he left us too soon.”
The Senate President commiserated with the immediate family of the deceased, the Government and people of Rivers State, the Niger Delta region and the entire country over the unfortunate occurrence.
He also prayed God to grant the soul of the departed eternal rest.
On his part, Dr. Dakuku Peterside was visibly pained over the sad development even as he recalled his long years of closeness with the Wiwa family of Bane in Ogoni.
“This is very sad news for me considering my many years of association with the Wiwa family of Bane. It’s indeed a very sad development and I am still in shock,” Peterside said in a statement issued by his Media Office.
Dr. Peterside said that the untimely death of Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr is a huge loss not only to the immediate Wiwa family and the Ogoni but to the Rivers South-East, Rivers State and the Nigerian nation.
Peterside recalled that Ken Saro-Wiwa Jnr was a patriot that followed the footsteps of his legendary father, the world-renowned author and environmental rights activist, late Ken Saro-Wiwa.
“I recall that Ken Saro-Wiwa Jnr was a great patriot that followed the footsteps of his father, late Ken Saro-Wiwa Snr. I’m sure it is this patriotic and nationalistic fervour in the younger Ken that made him to accept to serve the Obasanjo Presidency as Special Assistant on Peace, Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation and later served as Senior Special Assistant on Civil Society and International Media in the former President Jonathan administration,” Peterside recounted.
Dr. Peterside said: “As we all mourn the momentous loss of Ken Jnr, I extend my most profound condolences to his immediate family and pray that God Almighty will grant them the strength and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss and grant the soul of late Ken Saro-Wiwa Jnr eternal bliss in his bosom.
Senator Magnus Abe, said, “I received with shock and disbelief the news of the tragic death of Ken Saro Wiwa Junior, an Ogoni patriot, the son of our great icon, nationalist and martyred environmentalist, Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa. It took hours for me to fully comprehend this tragedy.
“This is indeed a great loss not only to the Ogoni people but also to Nigeria.
“The death of Ken Junior like the death of 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) .
“In the passing of Ken junior that struggle has 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.
“I remember our conversations and arguments and the several unsuccessful attempts I made to convince Ken junior to join active partisan politics, we disagreed often not just about what we could use politics 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.
“The Ogoni people will miss Ken junior, Nigeria will miss him, but his family will miss him the most and it is to them that 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.”
•Photo shows Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr.
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