Kongi at 89: The Lion marches on
Prof. Wole Soyinka

Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has condemned the violence and ethnic profiling witnessed during  the 2023 elections, noting that he is no longer certain if he still believes in Nigeria.

Soyinka who was reacting to the controversy that followed the presidential election results, said ridding the country of time servers who had taken up leadership positions in the country would be an effort in getting on the right track.

He said democracy in Nigeria had fallen apart, adding that violence, tyranny, and misinformation had become the order of the day.

“The instigating contest – Nigerian Democracy 2023 – has witnessed much that is innovative – largely in the retrogressive vein,” Soyinka said in a statement on Friday.

“Violence and ethnic profiling. ‘Spiritual’ warfare in the shape of sacrificial rams to keep ‘disloyal’ communities under restraint – in short, intimidation yet again! Easily overlooked however are those missives of violence directed against dissenting voices, real or suspect.”

He noted that protecting structures from partisan stances and material inducements would set the pace for a revolution in the country.

“Project NIGERIA, I must confess, has become near terminally soul-searing. Do I still believe in it? I am no longer certain but – first, we must rid ourselves of the tyranny of the ignorant and the opportunism of time servers,” he said.

“In any case, there is not much else to engage one on a foundation of ownership stakes. There is of course, always the possibility of a Revolution, with a clarity of purpose and acceptance of all attendant risks, including costly errors. Revolutions are not however based on the impetus of speculative power entitlement.

“No matter, until that moment, the structures that ensure just and equitable cohabitation must be protected from partisan appropriation – be it from material inducement, fake news, or verbal terrorism – the last being the contribution of one who is positioned to assume co-leadership of the nation, no less.

“Revolution is not about lining up behind the nearest available symbol. When a symbol does emerge, however, we are still obliged to examine every aspect of what is fortuitously on offer, and continue to guard our freedoms every inch of the way.”



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