3 August 2018

Nigeria: Soyinka Berates Obasanjo - Warns Ex-President About 'Hijacking Propensity'

Nigeria's Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, on Thursday threw shades at former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the retired general's 'hijacking propensity'.

Mr Soyinka urged the ex-Nigerian leader to keep away from political movements put in place by patriots to restore Nigeria to the path of development.

He said this at the launch of his book, 'Interventions' VIII' published by Book Craft, held in Lagos.

Mr Soyinka warned Mr Obasanjo against associating with Nigerians preoccupied with plans to reposition the nation and put it on the path of progressive growth.

He said, in reference to Mr Obasanjo: "I have only one demand: Keep away from movements struggling to restore this country to the path of sanity and even moderate rectitude. End your hijacking propensity."

The dramatist also denied online comments credited to him on the current defections by members of the Nigerian political class, especially in the ruling All Progressives Congress.

He said, "The business of fake news is becoming very alarming. The unscrupulous attachment of one's name with something which I had never said or even thought and the brazen imposition of one's identity on such outpouring is so canning, so dishonest. It is disgusting and cowardly.

"I want the press to be very alert to this and sensitise the public on such materials the way banks do. They should check any information properly before they make an industry out of total lies," he said.

The literary icon also alluded to the fact that the Muhammadu Buhari administration is troubled by several acts of mis-governance and unforced errors.

"There are unforced errors and acts that are considered stupid. And failure to secure lives and languages of self-excusing which were condemned in the past but resurfacing all over the place," he said.

"Also, failure to exert authority when and immediately when due which led to the killings. There is a cheapening of lives. The value of lives in the last year or so, on a level we haven't witnessed in the country for a long time; and that is one of the reasons it has become essential that we all embark on ground- clearing for a new generation of leaders.

"And to make sure that in the process, we don't bring back what we are just getting out from. That is one of the stupid acts that we could be held responsible for by the coming generation."

The session was moderated by veteran journalist, Kunle Ajibade; human rights lawyer, Femi Falana; and columnist and Editorial Board chair of The Nation newspaper, Sam Omatseye.

Nigeria

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