Soyinka: Obasanjo Is Right, Nigeria Close To Extinction Under Buhari

Soyinka Reacts To Buhari's Lockdown Of Abuja, Lagos

Professor Wole Soyinka was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African to be honoured in that category. (image courtesy: AFP)

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has said that Nigeria under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is close to extinction.

Soyinka stated this while throwing his weight behind ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo who said that the country is divided under Buhari.

The professor said that while he’s not a fan of the ex-president whom he said contributed to the problem, he would pay attention to any accurate concern about this nation irrespective of the source.

“I am notoriously no fan of Olusegun Obasanjo, General, twice former president and co-architect with other past leaders of the crumbling edifice that is still generously called Nigeria. I have no reasons to change my stance on his record.

“Nonetheless, I embrace the responsibility of calling attention to any accurate reading of this nation from whatever source, as a contraption teetering on the very edge of total collapse.

“We are close to extinction as a viable comity of peoples, supposedly bound together under an equitable set of protocols of co-habitation, capable of producing its own means of existence, and devoid of a culture of sectarian privilege and will to dominate,” he said.

Soyinka said that the advise he gave to the government on Africa Day, May 2019, organized  by the Union Bank of Africa, on the warning by Obasanjo about the country fell on deaf ears.

He said that instead of giving way for reasoning and dialogue, the country has been engaged in distractions.

According to Soyinka, “The nation is divided as never before, and this ripping division has taken place under the policies and conduct of none other than President Buhari  – does that claim belong in the realms of speculation? Does anyone deny that it was this president who went to sleep while communities were consistently ravaged by cattle marauders, were raped and displaced in their thousands and turned into beggars all over the landscape?

“Was it a different president who, on  being finally persuaded to visit a scene of carnage, had nothing more authoritative to offer than to advice the traumatized victims to learn to live peacefully with their violators? And what happened to the Police Chief who had defied orders from his Commander-in-Chief to relocate fully to the trouble spot – he came, saw, and bolted, leaving the ‘natives’ to their own devices.

‘Any disciplinary action taken against ‘countryman’? Was it a spokesman for some ghost president who chortled in those early, yet controllable stages of now systematized mayhem, gleefully dismissed the mass burial of victims  in Benue State as a “staged show” for international entertainment?

“Did the other half of the presidential megaphone system not follow up – or was it, precede? – with the wisdom that they, the brutalized citizenry, should learn to bow under the yoke and negotiate, since “only the living” can enjoy the dividends of legal rights?”

He added, “What it fails to do, or what it does wrongly, deceitfully or prejudicially  is what concerns the citizenry. Across this nation, there is profound distrust, indeed abandonment of hope in this government as one that is genuinely committed to the survival of the nation as one, or indeed understands the minimal requirements for positioning it as a modern, functional space of productive occupancy.

“Donald Trump is not without a governance pass mark here or there – indeed, he has been touted for the Nobel Peace prize in some quarters,  backed, predictably, by the quota Nigerian columnist – yet who dares deny, outside Republican diehard circles – that the great United States of America is brutally divided, and is even unraveling  under the Trumpian phenomenon!”


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