Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate and Professor of Comparative Literature has declared that failure of President Muhammad Buhari to devise lasting and comprehensive solutions to problems and threats of killers herdsmen has overshadowed positive achievements of his administration.
The playwright, who spoke at his Ijegba residence in Abeokuta where he hosted 85 pupils drawn from all the six geopolitical zones of the country to mark his 85th birthday on Sunday, insisted that the carelessness and negligence of the Buhari’s administration had led to deaths of many Nigerians.
The Nobel Laureate while responding to questions asked by the pupils gathered for his 85th birthday, said, “look at what is happening today, how is it possible for me to say for instance that I am pro of this government, it’s been negligent, look at what is happening with the cattle all over the place. That is a security issue which should never have reached this level.
“I am sure that carelessness and the single act which has resulted in hundreds of people being killed in massacre, in their farms and their farms being taken over; it has wiped away a lot of the positive achievements of the government.
“It is an issue that is so serious and which concerns the welfare of you and me, that any carelessness or any failure, it’s totally unforgivable and unpardonable.
“It is not that one like to criticize for the sake of criticizing, NO! It is just that we believe that there is a minimal level which any government which has been elected to power must achieve to be considered a true representative of the people”.
He stressed that the problems of the country have overwhelmed the president, saying the problems cannot be solved by the present government, just as he urged the president to call for national dialogue among all the people across party lines so as to engage in partisan government that would benefit the general public.
He said “If you agree first of all that, the problems of this nation are completely beyond it, that is the first admission. And we should start thinking in terms of partisan government, it is going to form in my view, a government called across political parties and need to forget their allegiances and really comfort this nation as a habitation of human beings for very serious issue like economic, health, security, etc.
“The ingredients that threaten succession of government are being experienced every day … and convene a national dialogue which is what I call an ‘Indaba’ across all sections where we all meet and debate, including the economy of this nation, I think that is best way to go. I believe very frankly that the problems of this nation are beyond the solution that can be offered by this government”.
He added that governance is a very difficult occupation, Nigeria is a very complex nation for lot of reasons; its history, the background, the formation of it, the complexity, the culture, balancing here and there and then, you have several complications like fuel, among others”.
“Politicians that money has gone into their heads, misdirect themselves in terms of priority, they neglect some sections, some of them are nepotistic and some of them alienated themselves from the public which is the people they are supposed to serve and govern and they think they are still colonial masters, especially, when we went through the military period”.
RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta