Counter-conducting environmental injustices and (un)accountability: Ken Saro-Wiwa’s accounts of the Ogoni struggles

LAUWO, Sarah, EGBON, Osamuyimen, DENEDO, Mercy and EJIOGU, Amanze (2023). Counter-conducting environmental injustices and (un)accountability: Ken Saro-Wiwa’s accounts of the Ogoni struggles. Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal.

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Purpose This paper explores the historical roots of environmental accountability in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria by focusing on the campaigns for social and environmental justice by writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and the indigenous Ogoni people. Design/methodology/approach The methods consist of an analysis of books, diaries, letters and poems written by Ken Saro-Wiwa as well as books, reports and audio recordings of panel discussions which capture the Ogoni struggle, Ken Saro-Wiwa’s activism and its impacts. The authors’ approach to the data is sensitised by Foucault’s notion of counter-conduct as it enables the authors to better grasp the creative agency of Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni as they struggle and campaign for political autonomy, environmental justice and accountability. Findings The authors’ findings illustrate how Ken Saro-Wiwa’s books, letters, poems, diaries and articles provide early accounts of environmental injustices and the absence of accountability in the Niger Delta. They highlight how Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni movement deploy counter-conduct to subvert existing power and accountability structures through innovative strategies, effective mobilisation and communication at local and international levels. The authors’ findings also highlight how these have led to specific forms of accountability for human rights and the environment at local and global levels. They also show how Saro-Wiwa’s activism and the Ogoni struggle have inspired a new generation of environmental activists and new ways of demanding accountability. Originality/value This paper presents, for the first time, an account of the historical roots of environmental accountability practices from an African and developing country context. Its focus on the historical roots of environmental accountability is also unique as it expands the view beyond the origins of environmental accounting to look more broadly at the origins of environmental accountability practices.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability; Accounting; 3501 Accounting, auditing and accountability
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 15 May 2023 14:29
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 12:16

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