Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday declared that the inability of President Muhammadu Buhari to find solutions to the problems of herdsmen has wiped away the positive achievements of his administration. The playwright said that the “carelessness and negligence” of the Buhari’s administration had led to the death of many Nigerians.
Soyinka stated this at his residence in Ijegba, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, Ogun State capital while playing host to 85 pupils drawn from all the six-geo-political zones of the country to mark his 85th birthday. He said: “Look at what is happening today, how is it possible for me to say for instance that I am pro this government. Look at what is happening all over the place. That is a security issue, which should never have reached this level.
“I am sure that carelessness and single act, which resulted in hundreds of people being killed in a massacre in their farms and their farms taken over, have 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. “It is not that one likes to criticize for the sake of criticizing. No, it is just that we believe that there is a minimal level which any government must achieve to be considered a true representative of the people.”
The Nobel laureate, who insisted that the problems of the country had overwhelmed the President, said that the problems could not be solved alone by the present government. He, therefore, urged the current leadership to admit that the problems “facing the country are beyond it,” and therefore, convoke a national conference that would involve every facet of the country, from politics to the economy, which he called National Indaba.
Besides, the Nobel laureate while giving most governments in the country knocks, said none of them has done well. He said most governments have been disappointing the people and not living up to expectation. He noted that it is easier on the state level to determine which of them has done well. According to him, governance is a very difficult assignment because of the balancing of interests and access to free wealth and other complexities.
The Guardian’s Anote Ajeluorou also presented his book “Igho Goes to Farm” to the Nobel laureate. For many of the students, it was an opportunity to share a moment with the venerable writer. Beyond the excitement was the knowledge garnered in that short time.
Little wonder they were eager to know everything, which Soyinka obliged them with an answer. He told them: “If I were not a writer, I would have been a musician or an architect. One thing I know I would not do is Mathematics. I was not good in Mathematics but I designed my house and called a qualified architect to balance the structure for safety.”
The event was facilitated by Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange (WSICE), which clocked 10 on July 13, 2019, having staged its maiden edition in July 2010 – to mark the 76th birthday anniversary of Soyinka. The WSICE, a prime project of the OpenDoor Series, is essentially anchored around Soyinka’s humanist principles as enunciated in his body of works and his consistent patriotic engagement with the socio-political and cultural affairs of Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.