8 takeaways from Prof Soyinka’s interview on Friday

Nobel prize winner for Literature, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday, at the Freedom Park, Lagos, addressed newsmen, in which he raised certain valid points concerning the contemporaneous issues in Nigeria.. They are cogent matters which need addressing by authorities concerned, in Nigeria, Benin Republic and the United Nations.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com looks at the eight of the issues he raised.
1. Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho is not a criminal, emphasizing the Yoruba freedom fighter has committed no crime whether in Nigeria or Benin Republic and so should be set free by the Benin authorities.
“You don’t criminalise such action. I am appealing to the government of Republic of Benin, why are you keeping this victim in prison? What crime did he commit against your state? He should be released and let him go about his business that was interrupted unjustly,” Soyinka said.
He added: “They went to the man’s house, destroyed his property, chased him to the wilderness. The security services committed criminal acts against him by raiding his home at 2.00am, killing two of his people and claiming they found weapon in his home. Who will believe that cock and bull story?”
2. The query issued to the channels TV by the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) is hogwash.
“Who decides professionalism? Is it NBC or mass communication fora? It is Channels TV; it can be anyone. This is the first time I am seeing a kind of query the media is getting. This is one of the most semi illiterate queries that I have ever seen. Next time, those letters should be thrown into garbage bin. This should be stopped as soon as possible.
“We have a responsibility to tell the government that next time any media institution is sanctioned on this trivial or ludicrous ground, we will fulfill our responsibility by mobilising the nation to boycott all government media and we shall wage this media war against the government.
“Decree Number 4 has no place in a democracy and it is about time we emphasise that both in language and in act,” he said.
3. Celebrating President Mohammadu Buhari’s son’s wedding in such lavish manner in view of the current security crisis in the country is evidence of bad leadership.
“There was a carnival of a wedding in Kano; the president’s child was getting married. But some school children are kidnapped. This is not what I understand of leadership. I am not saying president’s children should not get married. I had made the mistake of thinking it would have been sufficient giving these children money and say go to Dubai and have a good time there.
4. The government’s obsession with cattle welfare is what is fueling the conspiracy theory about Fulanization and Islamization agenda.
“He should set an example. The president seems not to hear things. Virtually the nation is screaming we do not want open cattle grazing. Then comes a new version of RUGA with the president sending his agent out to go and map out grazing routes. So, why is this president obsessed about something that is being rejected? The obsession to the extent that people who are rational begin to wonder if it is all about cattle or there is an agenda we don’t know about. Conspiracy theories abound when the leadership is pursuing interest against the people.
“How do we describe the targeting of children? There is a Charter for the protection of children. When these articles are violated and all we do is to celebrate weddings, it means such a nation has failed to live up to its responsibility under United Nations laws.”
5. Nigerian government should ask for international help over the degenerating security situation in the country.
“We have been saying ask for international help, this thing is beyond you. It is not a question of begging; it has become an international responsibility. The international community is duly obliged to take action since there is failure on the part of governance to fulfill its obligation under United Nations Charter to which Nigeria is a signatory.”
6. Nigeria is witnessing another form of slave trading.
“Very soon, Nigeria will be quoting slaves on the stock market. I can’t see any difference between slavery and what is happening to school pupils today.
“So, we are calling on the United Nations to intervene and stop the slave trade.”
7. UN should declare parts of Nigeria a protectorate.
“I’m speaking as a layman. I think the protocols of the United Nations enables it to declare a section of this country protectorate. If the government has failed to protect his own people, the UN has a right and responsibility to declare those zones United Nations protectorate. We do not want what is going on now to become the new normal in Nigeria. We want intervention at this stage,” he noted.
8. Nigerians have the right to defend themselves. “The state has refused to defend them, then the citizens could defend themselves.”

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