Kiisi Trust Mourns Patrick Naagbanton, Human Rights Activitist

January 24th, 2023

Patrick Barigbalo Naagbanton, a dear friend to the Trust and an avid human rights crusader, died on Saturday, September 21, 2019. The news of his death was received with great shock and sadness by all. Patrick Naagbanton was nominated and served in the inaugural class of the Trust’s Advisory Council from 2017 – 2019, where his contributions on strategy and advancement for sustainable development in Ogoniland has helped put forward the Trust’s work locally and nationally. His wealth of experience in the development sector spanning over a period of two decades was key in his appointment as a member of the Advisory Council. Patrick was instrumental in helping the relatives of Ken Saro-Wiwa bring a case against Shell in a US court, for their role in his death and nine other activities from Ogoniland. The Shell vs. Wiwa case resulted in a $15.5 million settlement to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and the creation of the Kiisi Trust Fund with an initial $5 million endowment for the benefit of the Ogoni peoples.

“His vast geography and industry experience were an asset to the Council, which supported the Trust in its work in Ogoniland. The Council will miss a valuable team player and an ardent human rights crusader whose humanists philosophy ignited his selfless and conscious knack for equity and justice in every facet of life. Our hearts laden with grief, are with his family, colleagues, and fans across borders”. Borve Paago-Imabel, Chairman, Kiisi Trust Advisory Council.

Among the many roles Patrick took on in his life, founding the Centre for the Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) in 2005, an organization that conducts ground breaking research, advocacy and campaigning work in support of communities in the Niger Delta, would remain as one of his best legacies. He was a public interest journalist, writer, poet, biographer, small arms and light weapons investigator, conflict analyst, book reviewer, and human and environmental rights campaigner. He has worked for reputable local and international media and non-governmental organizations, including Stakeholders Democracy Network, Environmental Rights Action, Friends of the Earth Action Aid International Nigeria, Amnesty International, the New York Times, the Telegraph, Bloomberg and the Guardian international.

“Patrick was a very good man. He was always prepared to put in everything he had in fighting for a good cause. Patrick believed and fought for the people of Ogoniland and the world at large.” Honourable Uche Onyeagucha, Chairman, Kiisi Trust Board of Trustees.

Each of us not only grieves at the passing of a tremendous individual, but also for the loss his family suffers. Patrick’s demise has indeed left a huge vacuum in the Kiisi Trust, family members, friends and loved ones in the Ogoni community and the world at large.  We remain ever more committed to the causes Patrick stood and fought for and will continue to work to ensure peace and development is brought to Ogoniland.

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