Only a few days after former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo claimed the country has never been so divided as it is under incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, another notable Nigerian has risen to give affirmation to that line of thought.
Nobel laureate and acclaimed social critic, Wole Soyinka today said Obasanjo’s claims about the state of Nigeria under Buhari were an accurate assessment of the situation of the country.
In a statement he titled ‘Dividers-in-Chief and Dividers-in- Law’ , Prof. Soyinka said Nigerian citizens no longer believed the Buhari administration understands or possesses what is required to position the country as “a modern, functional space of productive occupancy.”
In a series of rhetorical assertions he asked: “The nation is divided as never before, and this ripping division has taken place under the policies and conduct of none other than President Buhari – does that claim belong in the realms of speculation?
“Does anyone deny that it was this president who went to sleep while communities were consistently ravaged by cattle marauders, were raped and displaced in their thousands and turned into beggars all over the landscape? Was it a different president who, on being finally persuaded to visit a scene of carnage, had nothing more authoritative to offer than to advice the traumatised victims to learn to live peacefully with their violators?
“And what happened to the Police Chief who had defied orders from his Commander-in-Chief to relocate fully to the trouble spot – he came, saw, and bolted, leaving the ‘natives’ to their own devices. Any disciplinary action taken against ‘countryman’? Was it a spokesman for some ghost president who chortled in those early, yet controllable stages of now systematised mayhem, gleefully dismissed the mass burial of victims in Benue State as a “staged show” for international entertainment?
“Did the other half of the presidential megaphone system not follow up – or was it, precede? – with the wisdom that they, the brutalized citizenry, should learn to bow under the yoke and negotiate, since “only the living” can enjoy the dividends of legal rights?”
On Thursday last week, Obasanjo had claimed in a speech delivered in Abuja that Nigeria, under Buhari’s watch, was drifting towards the status of a failed state.