Wole Soyinka

BY EMEKA EJERE

Noble Laureate Professor Woke Soyinka has aligned himself with the views of former President Olusegun Obasanjo that Nigeria is more divided under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Obasanjo had last week raised concerns that Buhari Administration has turned Nigeria to the headquarters of poverty and left the nation more divided than ever.

But the Presidency in a reaction, through the senior special assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, at the weekend, described Obasanjo as Nigeria’s “divider-in-chief.”

In a statement he signed on Tuesday titled: “Between ‘Dividers-in-chief’ and Dividers-in-law,” Soyinka stated he was no fan of Obasanjo but admitted the former President read the current state of the nation rightly.

According to Soyinka: “I am notoriously no fan of Olusegun Obasanjo, General, twice former president and co-architect with other past leaders of the crumbling edifice that is still generously called Nigeria.

“I have no reasons to change my stance on his record. Nonetheless, I embrace the responsibility of calling attention to any accurate reading of this nation from whatever source, as a contraption teetering on the very edge of total collapse.

“We are close to extinction as a viable comity of peoples, supposedly bound together under an equitable set of protocols of co-habitation, capable of producing its own means of existence, and devoid of a culture of sectarian privilege and will to dominate.”

He recalled calling the Buhari’s administration to the self-destruct the nation had turned to on Africa Day in May 2019 but lamented his warnings have been largely ignored.

Soyinka said: “That advice appears to have fallen on deaf ears. In place of reasoned response and openness to some serious dialogue, what this nation has been obliged to endure has been insolent distractions from garrulous and coarsened functionaries, apologists and sectarian opportunists.

“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?