Nigeria’s Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has backed former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s claims on how Nigeria is becoming a failed state under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recall that Mr Obasanjo during a consultative dialogue in Abuja had blamed the current state of the country on poor management of the nation’s diversity.
Reacting, the President dismissed Mr Obasanjo’s claim, saying that the former president had “descended from his lofty heights of a Commander-in-Chief to that of a Divider-in-Chief”.
Rising in Mr Obasanjo’s defence, Mr Soyinka, in an article titled: ‘Between ‘Dividers-In-Chief’ and Dividers-In-Law’, said “Nigeria is divided like never before under the policies and conduct of none other than President Buhari”.
According to the Nobel-laureate, Mr Obasanjo’s claim does not belong in the realms of speculation.
He said: “The nation is divided as never before, and this ripping division has taken place under the policies and conduct of none other than President Buhari – does that claim belong in the realms of speculation?
“Does anyone deny that it was this president who went to sleep while communities were consistently ravaged by cattle marauders, were raped and displaced in their thousands and turned into beggars all over the landscape?
“Was it a different president who, on being finally persuaded to visit a scene of carnage, had nothing more authoritative to offer than to advice the traumatised victims to learn to live peacefully with their violators?
“And what happened to the Police chief who had defied orders from his commander-in-chief to relocate fully to the trouble spot – he came, saw, and bolted, leaving the ‘natives’ to their own devices. Any disciplinary action taken against ‘countryman’?
“Was it a spokesman for some ghost president who chortled in those early, yet controllable stages of now systematised mayhem, gleefully dismissed the mass burial of victims in Benue State as a “staged show” for international entertainment?
“Did the other half of the presidential megaphone system not follow up – or was it, precede? – with the wisdom that they, the brutalised citizenry, should learn to bow under the yoke and negotiate, since “only the living” can enjoy the dividends of legal rights?,” Mr Soyinka queried.
Mr Soyinka added: “Across this nation, there is profound distrust, indeed abandonment of hope in this government as one that is genuinely committed to the survival of the nation as one, or indeed understands the minimal requirements for positioning it as a modern, functional space of productive occupancy.”