Seek international help over insecurity, Wole Soyinka tells Buhari

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka as urged President Muhammadu Buhari to seek international help in combating the perennial security crisis in the country.

The playwright spoke at a press conference he tagged ‘Forget the past, forfeit the future: A nation seceding from humanity,’ on Thursday in Lagos.

He urged Mr Buhari to take help from the international communities even if it “means the UN (United Nations) establishing a unit in the country.”

Mr Soyinka maintained Nigeria is ‘overqualified’ for international help and “should stop hiding under false pride or national integrity.”

Bola Ige saga

The essayist continued his criticism of the APC’s selection of Iyiola Omisore the party’s national secretary.

Mr Omisore had been a key suspect in the 2001 murder of Bola Ige, a former Attorney General of the Federation. Authorities initially detained Mr Omisore for months before releasing him.

Mr Omisore has continually maintained he is innocent of the allegations.

“What I am saying is that once you have been involved in a certain form of activity which will lead to the extinction of a good man, you should not be in a certain position in society,” Mr Soyinka said.

“If Buhari and the APC leadership want to reward someone like Omisore, they should give him an embassy somewhere, maybe in Ukraine. But don’t make him a national secretary of a ruling party.”

Mr Soyinka wondered how someone who attacked Mr Ige by “decapping” him could be seen as the national secretary of a ruling party.

“If Omisore is erudite as some people claim, he should know that certain actions like taking off the cap of Bola Ige and tossing it to thugs to play around, which means more,” he said.

Mr Soyinka clarified he did not mean Mr Omisore is responsible for Mr Ige’s death, but only frowned at the humiliation of the Yoruba leader.

“Whoever initiated such action should not aspire to some positions, such as secretary of a ruling party.”

In his remark, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, said the killers of Mr Ige must be found, while noting that Mr Soyinka had reminded the president of his pledge to reopen an enquiry into Mr Ige’s death and others.

In his remarks, the lawyer stressed he would defend Soyinka in case his speech at the event turned into litigation.

“Prof. has already dragged me out. So in case he is sued, I have to be his lawyer. I pledge here that if you are sued for exercising your freedom, we would not have you tried like Mubarak Bala,” he said.

“We will defend you free of charge because you are taking up a public interest matter.” (Premium Times)