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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nigeria Is Now Under A Cloud of Shame –– Wole Soyinka


With the way politicians are behaving these days, it's only a blind man that would say he is not seeing how things are turning upside down in Nigeria. Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has likened the current spat of insurgency in Nigeria to living under a cloud of shame and feeling of dereliction.

Soyinka said insurgency was thriving in the country due to the incompetence of the government and a clear case of lack of genuine leadership.
He said, “We are sitting under a cloud of heavy embarrassment, shame of the feeling of dereliction, sullen responsibility towards children. We are sitting under a cloud of impotence, of a calamity that was not without notice, and whose myriad causes is quite discernible. 
“We are here because of education because we will never stop learning till death. This cloud is made up of a sense of humiliation. We sent our children on an errand and they did not return. The errand is what we are celebrating today. The errand was to prepare the children for today but they never came back, that is what we cannot allow ourselves to forget.”

Soyinka spoke at the 2014 Foundation Day Anniversary and Convocation Ceremonies of the University of Ibadan, where he was honoured with Doctor of Letters honorary degree.

Soyinka was honoured alongside Emeritus Professor Olufemi Ogunlesi, who became the oldest person to receive honorary award of the institution; and businessman owner of Globacom Limited, Mike Adenuga.

Soyinka, who was described by the institution as the courageous voice for human rights, said although the gathering was meant to celebrate success, it would be difficult to cast aside the plight of the abducted girls in Chibok seized by Boko Haram insurgents over six months ago.

He also said that the Nigerian government was guilty of the failure to protect its children and build a safe nation for all.

The Nobel laureate said, “We are familiar with what is going on so I have decided that there is nothing new in what I am going to say. In Port Harcourt where I made a speech at the University of Science and Technology three years ago, I asked deliberately, ‘where is the University of Maiduguri today?’ In the US back in 1957 at the time of racism, the president of that nation federalised the National Guard and ordered it to protect a young girl.

“Do we send children to school to have their hands tied and their throat slit? Yet, we have leadership that is asking the terrorist to come to the table and negotiate with it while children were being killed and taken away in Chibok.

“What crime did they commit? This is not what our children deserve. It begins with the failure to respond as the US president did to protect the little girl. What is the difference between Nigeria’s Boko Haram and America’s night and day riders of hate and destruction? Both thrive on hate, intimidation and inculcation of fear, intolerance and terror. This is what is happening to our institutions, especially in the northern part of our country.”

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