Nigeria’s Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has urged the Nigerian government to seek help in restoring peace in the country and chart a way forward without using Nigerians as victims.Reacting to the spate of killings across Nigeria by bandits, terrorists and gunmen, Soyinka said in a statement on Sunday that the gunmen had sacrificed and traumatised the country’s youths beyond their capacity to cope.
He said that Nigeria was at war and that it was time to stop pretending and put in more efforts to stop the killing of youths, who are the future.
The Nobel laureate also condemned the practice of blame trade, saying it should be left for later.
“Abubakar Atiku (former Vice President) has summed up the nation’s feeling – this most recent savagery against our youth is heart-breaking. More than the heart is broken. However, more than millions of individual hearts still lay claim to bonds in a common humanity,” he said.
According to him, the already over-stretched sinews of moral restraint have been snapped off the casing of nation being, and nothing is left but the collective wails of impotence. Not for the first time, what many hoped was a Natural Law of Limitations has been contemptuously, defiantly breached.
“We need to remind ourselves of hideous precedents. We must remember Chibok. And Dapchi. And numerous antecedents and after, unpublicised, or soon relegated to the sump of collective amnesia.
“The wages of impunity never diminish, on the contrary, they distend. One’s greatest fear, with this latest feat of cowardly savagery, is that the nation must brace itself for a Beslan scenario, yet strive to avoid Nigeria become Africa’s Chechnya.
“Those who have been proven weak and incapable must learn to swallow their vain pride and seek help. Again, this is no new counselling, but of course, the dog that will get lost no longer heeds the hunter’s whistle.
“I envy no one the task ahead, terminating the toxic harvest of past derelictions. Blame laying is for later. Right now is the question of – what needs to be done, and done urgently.
“We keep avoiding the inevitable, but that very unthinkable now hammers brutishly on our gates, the blood ransom arrogantly insatiable. This nation is at war, yet we continue to pretend that these are mere birth-pangs of a glorious entity,” local media reports quoted Soyinka as saying.
He advised the government to “seek help. Stop Improvising with human lives. Youth – that is, the future – should not serve as ritual offering on the altar of a failing state.”