Ken Saro-Wiwa was a Nigerian writer. In 1990 he abandoned literature and devoted himself to environmental and social causes. After commercial oil drilling had started in the Niger Delta in 1958, oil spills became everyday events, poisoning drinking water and making agriculture and fishing impossible. Supported by corrupt politicians, oil companies did nothing to reduce the harmful effects. Saro-Wiwa organised the peaceful resistance of the Ogoni people, an ethnic group inhabiting the Niger Delta. The military dictatorship arrested Saro-Wiwa, who was sentenced to death and executed in 1995.