Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has lamented that the lives of Nigerians have become so cheap under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, and called for the election of new generation of leaders to overhaul the system.
He spoke yesterday at the official launch of his Interventions VIII series, entitled: “Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? (Who keeps watch over the watchmen?), Gani’s Unfinished Business,” at Freedom Park, Lagos.
Soyinka said there were serious acts of mis-governance under the current administration, as there were lots of unforced errors being committed by Buhari.
He agreed that scathing letter by former president Olusegun Obasanjo rubbishing President Muhammadu Buhari was not in bad taste, pointing out that most of the facts contained in the letter released earlier in the year were genuine, and issues which Nigerians were already aware of.
“There are acts of mis-governance under this administration. There are unforced errors and acts that are considered being stupid; failure to secure lives; languages of self-excusing, which were condemned in the past but resurfacing all over the place,” he said.
The playwright decried that the Buhari administration glossed over intolerable degrees of bloodshed as if in a casual event or happening by accident, adding that there was “also, failure to exact authority when and as at when due which led to the killings.”
‘’There is cheapening of lives. The value of lives in the last year or so on is on a level we haven’t witnessed in the country for long time,” he said.
Soyinka maintained that this was one of the reasons it had become essential that “we all embark on ground clearing for new generation of leaders and to make sure that in the process, we don’t bring back what we are just getting out from. That is one of the stupid acts that we could be held responsible by the coming generation.”
The Nobel laureate pointed out that an opportunity still existed between now and 2019, as there should be reforms and total overturn, saying whatever it would take to secure the country to give the people new sense of dignity and humanity, should be done.”
Soyinka described Obasanjo as cunning, rather than clever ‘as he thinks’. He said the former president had formed the habit of reading the mood of the country and aligning himself with the yearnings of the masses, in keeping with his messianic fixation. He said he was incensed by the attempt by Obasanjo to hijack the struggle to reform Nigeria, which, according to him, the ex-president did in 2015 as well.
But on his part, a senior advocate, Femi Falana SAN, who was one of the panelists, was cautious in embracing Obasanjo and his coalition for Nigeria movement, saying, “I think we do not celebrate opportunism; reading the mood of the nation and trying to hijack the movement”.