Wole Soyinka Explodes In Deep Anger, Mentions Obasanjo, Jonathan, As He Moves Against Buhari’s Government

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has taken a swipe against former and present Nigerian leaders including Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jona...

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has taken a swipe against former and present Nigerian leaders including Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Nigerian poet, who was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, slammed President Muhammadu Buhari, for his “slow response” in dealing with the terror caused by the Fulani herdsmen, across many parts of Nigeria.

He said that Buhari has failed on the security threat posed by the herdsmen, adding that, he was repeating the mistakes of his Predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, in not dealing with the boko haram menace, in a timely and adequate fashion.

“The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny”, he said.

Soyinka appeared on the BBC’s Hardtalk programme, which was anchored by Zeinab Badawi and monitored by Post Nigeria.

Reacting to Badawi’s question that he backed Buhari in 2015, describing the ex-Army General as a “reformed Democrat”, Soyinka disclosed that Buhari “won by default” in 2015, because it was difficult to back Jonathan, and which meant supporting a continuation of the corruption associated with that regime.

“As it happened, yes, I did use that expression ‘born again democrat.’ When somebody competes in an election three, four times and persists, he must believe in democracy… the circumstances in Nigeria, the fact that Nigerians have shown the military what a huge failure they were makes it possible for one to identify the possibility of exceptions when they seem to behave like democrats.

“But in any case, I kept emphasising that Nigerians had a very difficult choice and as I said, it was between the devil and the deep blue sea” he said.

Asked to comment about the 2019 presidential election, he said, “The 2019 election is one of the most depressing elections we’ve been through. Talking for myself, it wasn’t possible for me to make a choice for the simple reason that both candidates (President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar) had histories – one immediate, one past – which made one look for alternatives.”

On security, Soyinka criticised Jonathan’s ineffective response to boko haram, but placed the blame for failing to nip the problem in the bud, at the feet of Olusegun Obasanjo, who was President, from 1999 to 2007.

He said: “Obasanjo contributed to the emergence of boko haram, by not preventing the first Governor in one of the Northern States, from establishing a “theocratic State”.

Soyinka maintained that the President failed to act, because he was “compromised” by his ambition to continue in Office beyond the second term limit.

He was however, silent about why Buhari’s response to the killings of the herdsmen was so inadequate, and said little about how the problem could be tackled effectively.

The Playwright also stated that his generation has failed Nigerians as the dreams people of his generation had about the country had not materialised.

Soyinka gave the above response when he was asked “Has your generation of older Nigerians failed the people?” The Nobel laureate said;

“Yes, I believe so. I compare today with dreams and aspirations we had when we all rushed home after studies abroad. We considered ourselves the renaissance people that were going to lift the continent to world standards, competitors anywhere. It hasn’t happened.”

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