While speaking in Abuja on Wednesday at the national honours investiture for heroes of democracy, Professor Wole Soyinka, told President Muhammadu Buhari that he cannot honour MKO Abiola in one breath and admire his tormentor, Sani Abacha in the same breath.
The Nobel Laureate said further that although he understood Buhari’s official loyalty to Abacha, it shouldn’t take pre-eminence over the preservation of democracy
He said; “Dear Mr. President, you cannot honour Abiola in one breath and admire his tormentor in the same breath. Someone who if alive would be standing trial at the International Criminal Court,” he says.
Soyinka added that while the heroes of democracy were being recognized, the anti-democrats deserved some mention too.
“So, as we have the Hall of Heroes in one hand, we also have the Hall of Shame as a lesson to future generations,” he said.
In the latter category, he listed Abacha, whom he described as “one of the most brutal dictators – if not the most brutal, in fact the most brutal dictators – that this nation has ever known”.
Soyinka says he was “knocked out of my throat” by the apology rendered by Buhari for the June 12 atrocities of Nigerian past dictators who were responsible.
He added that he was on his way to Brazil when he was “literally yanked off” the plane and dragged to the event at the State House, Abuja, today.