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October 11, 1994

11/10/94

Dear Sr. Majella,

Welcome back to Nigeria and to Ogoni.[1] I hope you did receive all my letters. I do not appear to have been so lucky. Anyway, you can write me all you want. You might even try to see me through the Military Administrator. The meeting will give you an idea what the wretched fellow thinks of me. It will help me assess what they’re up to.

There’s a flash point in Ogoni right now. The gas pipeline. The Govt refused to give visas to our own consultants who were to help us review the EIA [Environmental Impact Assessment] which we had insisted on, and which is required under Nigerian laws. Govt. had already paid for the study as we demanded, and I did everything to convince the Govt. to issue the visas. I spoke to the Nigerian High Commissioner and to the Minister of Petroleum. And then I was arrested.

What we have to do is to stop Saipem[2] (the Italian Contractors) from walking over Ogoni dead bodies for their profit. I’ve written to Mr. Ohlsen[3] and we are going to lobby all EU Embassies in Lagos & the EU itself.

I was told to apply for some relief funds from the EU (regardless of whichever else we had previously applied for). Alfred Ilenre[4] brought the news, but I don’t know whether this is correct. We have applied anyway. You may check this out.

All the best, and let me hear from you soon. I think you might be able to see me if you try hard enough.

Regards,

Ken.

 


  1. McCarron had returned to Ireland on 16/8/94 and planned to stay there in the lon­ger term to work with issues related to the Northern Ireland conflict. While visiting the Trócaire office, she was asked to return to Nigeria to facilitate a review of the application to the EU for humanitarian aid for Ogoniland. On her brief visit there, she was prohibited from visiting Saro-Wiwa in detention but they continued to communicate by letter.
  2. An oil and gas industry contractor.
  3. Gerald Ohlsen, Acting High Commissioner for Canada in Nigeria.
  4. General Secretary of the Ethnic Minority Rights Organization of Africa (EMIROAF).

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October 11, 1994 Copyright © 2017 by Text, letters and images: Copyright © 2013 John Paul II Library, Maynooth University, Republic of Ireland. Ken Saro-Wiwa’s poems: © 2013 Ken Saro-Wiwa Estate. All Rights Reserved.

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