Lagos – Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, says it is sickening for supporters of President Buhari to campaign for his second term in office. Soyinka said this when he spoke at the Freedom Park in Lagos yesterday September 11th.
“Why are we talking about a second term for heaven’s sake, I don’t understand this. We have hardly gone half-way or barely gone half-way and people are already talking about positions. I refuse to be part of that discussion.” he said
According to him, the Buhari administration is yet to deliver on all its promises. He said that Nigerians feel more insecured now than they were a few years ago.
“It is a large questions, there are areas, yawning gaps. Just take security, for instance, the average citizen feels less secure now than it did a few years ago, that is evident. When people talk about state police, there are reasons for that; when they talk about bringing policing right down to the community level, they know what they are talking about. This is part and parcel of reconfiguring or reconstruction. The economy, there is a big question on it right now; fortunately everybody admits that we went through a very bad patch. Right now, it’s a question of have we come out of it or not; if in fact there is no question about it, the past few years have been years of internal economic disasters for the average citizen, but it is a question of who laid the seed? When and where and how were the seeds laid for the agony this nation has gone through in the last few years?” He asked
On the agitation by some Nigerians for the restructuring of the nation, the nobel laureate said what Nigeria needs at the moment is the restructuring of the mind which he termed “reconfiguring”.
“People should not allow themselves to be put off by those who have tried to cheapen the expression. As I said when I visited the Women Arise (event) the other day, it doesn’t matter what name you call it, we all know that Nigeria was deconstructed and that what we live in right now as a nation is not along a structure that expresses the true will that we love in Nigeria. So, when people use words like restructuring, reconfiguring, you can call it reconfiguration. You can call it return to the status quo. You can call it reformulating the protocol of association. You can use those long words, but you can use a single word like restructuring, it doesn’t matter, everybody knows what we are talking about. Number two, there are those who try to divert direct attention away from the main issues by mounting platitudes, clichés like it is the mind that needs restructuring, you know who I am talking to. This is a constant process – the restructuring of the mind is both an individual exercise as well as a theological exercise. People go to church and mosque to have their minds restructured, they go to school, they go to extra-mural classes to have their minds restructured. So, restructuring of the mind is not the issue, nobody is saying the exercise of restructuring them should not be undertaken, anybody who indulges in self-examination is already engaging in mind restructuring. I find it very dishonest and cheap, time wasting, trivialising the issues when I hear the expression that it is the mind which needs to be restructured; who is arguing it, who is denying that, it is not a substitute, why are they bringing it up? We are talking about the protocol of association of the constituting parts of a nation, we are talking about decentralisation, that is another word. This country is over-centralised and that has been the bane of development, even on issues like security for decades. So individuals should not now try and sidetrack the issue and say concentrate on that rather than this. Are you saying that you cannot reconstruct the mind and reconstruct the nation at the same time? My take on it and my advice to the citizenry is that they should not allow themselves to be sidetracked. Call it whatever name, what we are saying is that this nation is long overdue for reconfiguration. That is the expression I choose to use now.” he said
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