Playwright and Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka has stood behind former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his statement that Nigeria has become more divided under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Obasanjo had attracted the ire of the Presidency over his statement last Thursday and was described as Nigeria’s ‘divider-in-chief’.
However, in a statement on Tuesday titled “Between ‘Dividers-in-chief’ and ‘Dividers-in-law’”, Soyinka said although he was not a fan of Obasanjo, the ex-president’s message on the state of affairs in Nigeria is accurate.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Soyinka berated the Buhari administration for not heeding to an earlier warning Obasanjo gave in 2019 which he (Soyinka) drew attention to during a speech on Africa Day, May 2019 organised by the United Bank for Africa.
“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? he asked.
“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?”