‘It’s The Same Mentality:’ Soyinka Likens Putin To Killer Herdsmen

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on aviation via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on March 31, 2022. Mikhail KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP
In this file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on aviation via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on March 31, 2022. Mikhail KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP

 

Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has taken a swipe at Russian President, Vladimir Putin, likening him to killer herdsmen.

The foremost playwright spoke on Channels Television’s NewsNight, a pre-recorded interview aired on Monday.

“The honourable spot of the world shrinks by the day,” Soyinka explained on why he may have been reticent on national issues of late.

He added, “Would you have anticipated putting invading Ukraine? Bombarding civilians with such fiendish glee? And what is Ukraine’s crime? It says leave me to associate with whoever I want. And I ask myself what is the difference between Putin and the herdsmen who corner the lands of farmers and invade? They kill, they slaughter, they burn, scatter the families completely, and render them homeless overnight. They and Putin should get together. It is the same mentality.”

READ ALSOTinubu Govt Will Replicate Borno, Lagos ‘Wonders’ In Nigeria – Shettima

The octogenarian also noted that his temperament does not allow him to tolerate anybody who wants to chase him out of his “God-given earth”.

“The idea that you can unleash terror on me because you want my little patch of territory or you want my soul, that is you want to subjugate me, you want to turn me into a slave. Well, I would sort that out first and then I’ll make up my mind whether I want to leave.

“So, each outrage, unfortunately, has the opposite effect. Whether the outrage is taking place in Benue, Kaduna, or is taking place in Owo. Or whether it is taking place right here on the (Ogun State) border; we’ve been subjected also to this lunacy, of the subjugation mentality which some minority people hold. And I find it very difficult to accept to be chased out of my own entitled portion of the earth.”

Putin and his Ukraine counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have been embroiled in a devastating war since February 24, 2022, when the Russian Federation launched an offensive against Ukraine.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as of July 2022, 12,272 civilian casualties have been recorded in the country including 5,237 killed and 7,035 injured.

I Don’t Care If President, VP Are Of Same Religion – Soyinka

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka speaks to the press on August 27, 2021. Seun Okinbaloye/Channels Television
In this file photo, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka speaks to the press on August 27, 2021. Seun Okinbaloye/Channels Television

 

Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, says he does not care if Nigeria’s next president, vice-president, and speaker of the House of Representatives are all from the same village and religion.

Soyinka spoke on Channels Television’s NewsNight, a pre-recorded interview, aired on Monday.

“I don’t give a damn if the president, the vice-President, the speaker, etc all come from the same village, they have the same religion, they belong to the same tribe,” Soyinka said when asked about his thoughts on the controversy that has trailed the Muslim-Muslim All Progressives Congress presidential ticket.

Tinubu Govt Will Replicate Borno, Lagos ‘Wonders’ In Nigeria – Shettima

The dramatist quickly added, “If, however, it is transparently, absolutely, unarguable that is a kind of genius breed that has been donated to the nation and to the world. As long as the capability of the individuals who are into governance is proven, and it is quite clear that there is no alternative, that is my position.”

The 88-year-old playwright, however, noted that the same faith ticket won’t be a problem in a “normal society” and that Nigeria hasn’t attained such a “norm”.

“Now, we are talking about a society which is normal, which institutions are normal…Is Nigeria normal?” he asked.

According to him, the campaigners for a same-faith ticket should be “very sensitive to the very peculiar circumstances of Nigeria” and explore alternatives that have been working for the country.

Soyinka’s comments came months after APC presidential candidate and former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, had announced ex-governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, as his running mate. Tinubu and Shettima are Muslims, a development that has continued to attract stark criticisms from the Christian Association of Nigeria; the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria; Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah; amongst others.

Top Christian APC members from the northern region have also rejected the mix of Tinubu and Shettima. The top chieftains include former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung; Senator Ishaku Abbo (Adamawa North).

Speaking on the Channels Television’s programme, Soyinka said there are unspoken arrangements that reflect the diversity and peculiarity of Nigeria and the ruling party should have been sensitive enough to recognise such peculiarity and avoid needless controversy.

He said, “We’ve had unspoken arrangements in recognition of the peculiarity of this particular society. And so, it shouldn’t surprise you or me that a number of people find that kind of choice very questionable and unwise, especially at this time.

“I can understand that perfectly and at the same time, I recognise the right of the proposed incumbent to choose who he wants to run with if he gets ultimately into power. That is right is there? However, that right is not absolute because we are talking about a relative society which Nigeria is right now.”

“And so, we are in a very difficult situation and the question I ask now is: why create a controversy? Are there options that should have prevented such a controversy? Why not be very sensitive to the very peculiar circumstances of Nigeria?” he queried.

Soyinka said Nigeria is facing a crisis of faith, ethnic distrust and class distrust and politicians should seize the opportunity not to exacerbate the situation but to learn from countries like Lebanon that learnt from their civil war and unanimously agreed on zones to produce government officials.

Osun Election: Bola Ige’s Voice Rose From The Grave – Soyinka

A file photo of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.
A file photo of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

 

Professor Wole Soyinka has said that the voice of Ajibola Ige, slain Minister of Justice, resounded from beyond the grave in the just concluded gubernatorial election in Osun State. 

According to the renowned playwright, the outcome of the Osun gubernatorial election is a is a lesson that speaks to other zones of rightful public expectations, equity, and just entitlements.

In a brief communique on Sunday, the Nobel Laureate said those who conspired to catapult Ige’s destroyers to unmerited national prominence, to insult the memories of the living, and jettison basic ethical constraints, have been justly served.


READ ALSO: Osun Election: IGP Commends Security Operatives, Electorates For Peaceful Conduct


“One despairs but continues to hope that there are still receptive minds in which such lessons will germinate.

“If we may adapt a wise saying from the ancients: the beast of burden, nicknamed Equity, ambles its mined course to destination but, sooner or later, that donkey arrives,” the poet buttressed his assertions.

Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), defeated Adegboyega Oyetola the incumbent governor who ran on the aegis of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the governorship election which held on Saturday.

Adeleke, 62, riding on the back of a campaign aimed at developing the state and retrieving what he says is his stolen mandate, secured 403,371 votes, 28,344 more than his closest rival, Governor Oyetola who polled 375,027 votes.

PHOTOS: Soyinka Visits Akeredolu, Says Owo Attack A Message To South West

Soyinka during a visit to Governor Akeredolu on Friday, June 10th, 2022. [email protected]

 

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has described the attack on Owo as a message to the South West. 

Soyinka said this during his condolence visit to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Friday following the attack on the St. Francis Catholic Church on Sunday.

“He was targeted and there is no question about that. It was not an accident, and it is passing a message to the rest of us,” Soyinka said according to a statement issued by the governor’s media aide Richard Olatunde.

“That is why I’m here. I want the Governor to know that we have received the message. We understand it and we came to sympathize with him that he was selected as a medium for that message.

“So, the answer we must give to the message we all received is that we are not slaves. Here, on our own soil, having had the experience of a century of disdain, and contempt about us as black people.”


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He said “some characters come along calling themselves whatever, ISWAP, Boko Haram. So, all those groups including those who are just opportunists – the herdsmen – are making a mistake. I want the Governor to realize they are making a mistake.

“I have been on this issue for quite some time. This invasion has been on and these herdsmen are all over the forests. At a time we thought it was Boko Haram, we didn’t know that Fulani herdsmen were capitalising on the fundamentalist insurgency and brutality.

“And that is why we see a nexus of operation between ISWAP, Boko Haram, and Fulani herdsmen. They work singularly, individually and they work collectively. I Know Ondo State has always been at the forefront of awareness.”

On his part, the governor thanked Soyinka for the visit, saying that the state will remain hugely indebted to him.

“It is a cause that he has dedicated his life to, and I thank God for his life. The state wants to appreciate you for finding time to come at this hour of grief.

“This is like a dagger drawn to our heart, and it is an assault on our psyche. The psyche of those of us in the South-West and Western Region,” he said.

“I think they think they can create some fears in us but they made a mistake because this will make us more fierce in our condemnation of their actions. And we are not hiding it.”

See more photos from the visit below:

[email protected]
Soyinka during a visit to Governor Akeredolu on Friday, June 10th, 2022. [email protected]

Elections: Nigerian Youths Not Ready To Take Their Destinies In Their Hands – Soyinka

 

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has faulted Nigerian youths for their inability to stake a claim in the country’s political arena.

He made the comment on Thursday during a press conference in Lagos, asking youths to build a formidable bloc to challenge the existing order.

“The youths of this nation don’t seem to want to take their destiny in their own hands,” he said.

Soyinka recalled that he was part of the move for youths to present a consensus candidate during the 2019 election but lamented that such did not materialise.

“Well, they failed to do that and I have a fear that this same thing will happen this year,” the revered poet explained.


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A file photo of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.
A file photo of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

 

The acclaimed author also berated the two main political parties in Nigeria – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – for the gale of defections.

This, the literary icon believes, makes it difficult to distinguish between the political parties.

“Look at the two major parties, there has been such cross over from one rivulet to another, each crossing having its own purpose that it is getting difficult to even distinguish between the two major parties,” Soyinka added.

As the 2023 elections draw near, the playwright noted that he might be a spectator, describing the country’s political scene as “turbid”.

“So, very likely, all I would do is take French leave of the elections and just watch the results,” he maintained.

2023: Zoning Presidency To South-East Will Stop IPOB Agitation – Weekly Quotes  

A photo collage used to illustrate the story

 

Recent events within the country have again caused Nigerians to take another look at the nation’s security framework and with the next election not too far away, deliberations are beginning to get underway as regards the possibilities that exist come 2023.

With agitations, kidnappings, and banditry topping the list of growing concerns, options are being weighed as to how best the nation’s fragile peace can be kept intact. Here are some quotes from the passing week, they give us a feel of the nation’s pulse and help us make predictions for what we can expect in the nearest future.

 

1. “Zone the presidency of Nigeria to the South-East in the interest of fairness, peace, and tranquility.”

Spokesman of the Arewa Concerned Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria, Abdulsalam Kazeem, speaks during a press conference in Kaduna on December 6, 2021.

 

A coalition of northern groups under the umbrella of Arewa Concerned Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria declares support for the zoning of the 2023 presidency to the South-East in the interest of equity, fairness, and justice.

 

2. “I must make it known to all and sundry that we have had enough dosage of such embarrassments and harassments of our judicial officers across the country and we can no longer take any of such shenanigans. The silence of the judiciary should never be mistaken for stupidity or weakness.”

Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, warns individuals and agencies of the government against any form of harassment and embarrassment of judicial officers in the country.

 

 

3. “Global vaccines’ and travel apartheid against Africa are endangering lives, hurting economies, lives, jobs and livelihoods, from a pandemic Africa did not cause. End the apartheid. Respect Africa!”

President of the Africa Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina is being re-elected for another five-year term.

 

President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, condemns travel bans placed on African countries over the latest variant of COVID-19, Omicron.

4. “Parents should be persuaded, even forced, to send their children to school so they, at least, acquire basic education. That basic education should be free and compulsory.”

 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar says education is significant to the development and security of any country.

 

5. “The reasons for that are various, the major one being the security problems that we have in the country.”

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, briefed reporters at the State House in Abuja on December 9, 2021.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, briefed reporters at the State House in Abuja.

 

Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, says Nigeria’s slip in a ranking of top investment destinations in Africa was due to insecurity.

 

6. “No one involved in Sylvester Oromoni’s death will be spared.”
File photo: President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari vows to get justice for Sylvester Oromoni, the late 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki.

7. “As to whether it (the jail attacks) calls for my resignation, I still don’t see any need for that because it is not for lack of preparedness that the attacks were successful.”

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, says the incessant attacks on correctional facilities in the country cannot force him to resign.

 

8. “I don’t want our youths to think that somebody is holding down their destiny. I also don’t want them to continue to be frustrated by the deliberate policies of exclusion. Instead, I want them to be focused on the larger picture of liberation through technology, trade, and commerce through which we can dominate Nigeria and dictate the pace of development.”

Governor Hope Uzodinma says rather than resort to violence, youths in the South-East region should look beyond lamenting over the marginalisation of the Igbo people and take advantage of the opportunities in Nigeria.

9. “As we countdown to our next general elections in 2023, we remain committed to putting in place and strengthening all necessary mechanisms to ensure that Nigeria will not only record another peaceful transfer of power to an elected democratic government but will also ensure that the elections are conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner.”

Sensitive materials displayed inside the INEC office in Lokoja. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun: Channels TV
President Muhammadu Buhari assures Nigerians and the international community of free and fair elections when citizens go to the polls to elect a new leader in 2023.

10. “Factors that should have a role to play is the ability to deliver and that is why some of us are saying we are offering him – Nyesom Ezenwo Wike – to Nigeria to assess him.”

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike

 

An elder statesman in Rivers State, Sergent Chidi Awuse, says Governor Nyesom Wike is well qualified to serve as Nigeria’s president come 2023.

11. “I am happy that we have roundly shamed the APC and their agents, who, as naysayers and enemies of democracy, had set land mines, expecting our party to submerge in crisis, factionalize and founder, so as to deny Nigerians the platform to rescue our nation from the vicious claws and deadly stranglehold of the APC. The APC has failed in governance and party administration and a crushing fall awaits it in 2023.”

Ndudi Elumelu during the plenary session. Photo: Femi Gbajabiamila

The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP Delta) declares that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will face an inevitable and crushing fall in 2023 after which it will go into political oblivion.

 

12. “The President is consulting, he has to consult with all the stakeholders and then arrive at a position that is best for the country.”

 

As Nigerians await President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the presidency says he will take action that is in the overall interest of the masses.

 

 

13. “Many more people have to get involved in that activity. A large volume of educated youths deciding to opt out, saying I have no more interest, I won’t vote and register. When you do that, you have surrendered your birthrights to the politicians who get elected.”

 

President and founder of ANAP Foundation, Atedo Peterside asks Nigerian youths to participate in political activities to move the country forward.

 

14. “I think I can say comfortably; it is not [discriminatory]. When the UK was the epicenter of the Alpha variant, we took some very tough measures ourselves to essentially cut ourselves off and we banned all but essential travels from the UK. So, that was a very tough decision for us.”

A file photo of the UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing
A file photo of the UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing

 

The UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, defends the travel ban on Nigeria following the detection of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, insisting that the move was based on science and not discriminatory.

 

15. “All over the place, I find that religion has been cosseted too much. And liberty has been taken by religionists, which would not be considered to other movements which are considered secularists.”

A file photo of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.
A file photo of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

 

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka singles out religion as the number one problem hindering Nigerians from being liberated as “rational beings.”

Channels TelevisionChannels Television

Twitter Ban A Petulant Gesture, Unbecoming Of A Democratically Elected President – Soyinka

A file photo of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.
A file photo of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

 

Professor Wole Soyinka says if President Muhammadu Buhari has a problem with the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, then he should sort it out privately.

Reacting on Friday to the ban placed on Twitter by the Federal Government, the Nobel Laureate said the move is a “petulant gesture” that is “unbecoming of a democratically elected president”.

Soyinka noted that a Twitter ban in the country is a “technical issue Nigerians should be able to work their way around”.

He added that “the field of expression remains wide open, free of any dictatorial spasms”.

Below is the brief communique as put out by the Nobel Laureate.

READ ALSO: Rescind Suspension Of Twitter In Nigeria Or Face Legal Action, SERAP Tells Buhari

Heard the news of Buhari’s ban on Twitter an hour or so after sending off TO SHOCK AND AWE to the print media. Kindly add my total lack of surprise at this petulant gesture, unbecoming of a democratically elected president.

If Buhari has a problem with Twitter, he is advised to sort it out between them personally, the way Donald Trump did, not rope in the right to free expression of the Nigerian citizen as collateral damage.

In any case, this is a technical problem Nigerians should be able to work their way around. The field of free expression remains wide open, free of any dictatorial spasms!

Wole SOYINKA

Yoruba Nation: Ignore Utterances Of Contemptible Interlopers, Soyinka Distances Self From Agitators

A file photo of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.
A file photo of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

 

 

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has distanced himself from statements making the rounds on social media, suggesting that he supports the agitation for the Yoruba Nation.

In a statement seen on Thursday, the laureate urged the general public to ignore the utterances of those he described as “contemptible interlopers” who lack the courage of their conviction and thus take to Identity Theft for the furtherance of their views.

The statement added that Professor Soyinka does not express his opinions on national issues on social media except through print media.

“For a start, Wole Soyinka does not participate in Facebook, Tweet, Blog, WhatsApp, or other offerings of Social Media. Any views that he wishes to express on national and other issues routinely go through the print media,” the statement partly reads.

Marginalization of the South-West

Sunday Igboho, a self-acclaimed activist, and Ayo Adebanjo, one of the leaders of the Afenifere socio-political organization recently came up with the push for the Yoruba Nation.

According to the activists, this political ideology seeks to liberate and make sovereign the Yoruba tribe from Nigeria where the activists believe the Odua people have continued to be marginalized.

This opinion, however, has not sat well with many political leaders within the region and several statesmen have kicked against the move, asking instead that the citizens do more to accommodate all Nigerians regardless of tribe and religion.

‘Nothing To Forgive:’ Soyinka Speaks About Relationship With Gowon

A photo combination of General Yakubu Gowon and Wole Soyinka.

 

Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka has explained that there is no bad blood between him and Nigeria’s former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, and believes there is nothing to forgive him about. 

“We communicate whenever possible, he came for my birthday in Abeokuta here. And when he started to apologise – he made a public apology – I said, ‘There is no need for it,'” the playwright who was detained by the Gowon government for two years, in the wake of the Nigerian Civil War, told Channels Television.

“The war, for me, is over.’ The ones I find difficult to forgive are those who lied against me. I don’t like liars; I just cannot stand liars.”

READ ALSO: Gowon Dismisses Allegation Of Looting CBN, Asks UK Lawmaker To Check His Record

Soyinka, 86, explained that General Gowon had on various occasions made efforts to meet him so they could talk.

 

A file photo of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd).

 

“He even asked the former ambassador to locate me so that anytime he was passing – I was in Europe and America then – so we could meet and talk,” the essayist who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986 added. “And I said, ‘any time’ but there is really nothing much to talk about.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria Receives Over 600 Years Old Ife Terracotta Head, Others From Netherlands

According to him, they later met at a conference with Soyinka adding that during the event, they talked about the Nigerian Civil War.

READ ALSO: Stop Hiding Rape Cases, Report Them, NHRC Tells Niger Residents

“We hit it on very well and we joked,” he said. “The ice was broken and since then, we have been friends.”

 

Soyinka won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.

 

READ ALSO: [EndSARS] UK Parliament Wants Nigerian Officials, Security Agencies Sanctioned For Rights Abuses

The Gowon government had on August 1967 arrested Soyinka and put him in solitary confinement, just as the Civil War started.

JUNE 12: Sanwo-Olu To Host Tinubu, Soyinka, Blair, Others

A file photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu
A file photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu

 

To commemorate this year’s National Democracy Day celebration, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat will on June 12 hold a Democracy Day webinar for youths in Lagos.

The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka will be joining the Lagos State helmsman and his deputy at the event which will hold via Zoom at 12 pm.

The Special Adviser to the President on Political matters, Babafemi Ojudu; former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Chief Dele Alake; publisher of Ovation International magazine, Bashorun Dele Momodu, and daughter of Chief MKO Abiola, Dr Hafsat Abiola-Costello and Cherie Blair, wife of former UK Prime Minister will be among the personalities lined up to mentor the youths and explain how they contributed immensely to the democratic system the country enjoys today.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 Devastation: Buhari Demands Economic Recovery Plan

At the event themed: June 12: Learning from the Past, Shaping the Future, Tinubu, Sanwo-Olu, and others including Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, Ms Yemi Adamolekun, and Mr Seun Onigbinde, will recount the events leading to the cancellation of the June 12, 1993 election, their efforts in the fight against the draconian military rule and what the country needs to do to ensure the contributions made by several Nigerians for the enthronement of democracy in the country, are not in vain.

They will also explain why June 12 was deservedly declared a public holiday by the Federal Government in honour of late Chief Moshood Abiola, who won the June 12, 1993 election that was annulled by the Ibrahim Babangida-led military government.

Governor Sanwo-Olu will explain to the youths how his administration has ensured that none of the citizens’ rights have been trampled upon in the last one year, the work done daily to ensure residents of Lagos get the dividends of democracy they agitated for while marching on the streets to demand for the return of civilian government over 20 years ago.

Sanwo-Olu and his deputy will at the event inform the youths how they had been preparing themselves for leadership before assuming office last year.

The participants at the virtual event will be given the opportunity to make their contributions and ask the speakers some questions.

‘Igbos Cannot Produce President By Just Complaining’ – The Week In Quotes

 

The past week was a very tensed one with so much to be discussed from politics to security matters. 

Below are some quotes that give us a feel of what transpired within the course of the week under review.

  1. A lot needs to be done quite frankly because if what we read in the papers or what we listen to on the radio is true, there are still some challenges in most of these areas we assumed the security situation has been stabilised.

Former military President, Ibrahim Babangida, shares his view on Operation Amotekun recently launched by the South-West governors, stating that the move is not a viable one.

2. Given his antecedents, I have no doubt that Senator Hope Uzodinma has the competence, capacity, character, and wisdom to steer Imo State to the next level of development. This is no time for politics but for policies, programme, and actions that will usher in a new lease of life for the people.

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, reacts to the Supreme Court judgment that declared Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 19 governorship election.

3. In its wisdom, the Apex Court finally declared my brother, Senator Hope Uzodinma the validly elected Governor of Imo State In the 2019 Governorship election. I wish to state categorically that I accept the judgment of the Supreme Court in good faith and hereby congratulate Senator Uzodinma on his emergence as Governor.

The governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the March 9 governorship election in Imo State, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume says he has accepted the outcome of the appeal at the Supreme Court in good faith.

4. The mandate you freely gave me ‘has now been truncated’.

Mr Emeka Ihedioha says that the mandate given to him by the Imo people has been truncated following the verdict of the Supreme Court that ousted him and brought in Senator Hope Uzodinma.

5. The Constitution does not prohibit us from doing what we are doing.

The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman of the Southwest Governors Forum says that the nation’s Constitution does not prohibit the governors from running with the ‘Operation Amotekun’.

6. In this case, the statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federal Government is clearly diversionary and hypocritical.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana says that the Attorney General’s statement concerning Operation Amotekun is diversionary and hypocritical.

7. Stepping up cooperation with the US in the area of counter-terrorism is something that should be pursued vigorously given the threats of terrorism in the Sahel.

The increase in activities and threats by terrorist groups in the Sahel region can be largely curbed by stepping up relations between Nigeria and the United States of America, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

8. We owe this victory to a functional judiciary.

Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) says he owes his gubernatorial victory at the Supreme Court to a functional judiciary.

9. Nigeria has made significant progress over the last twenty years since the country’s return to democracy in 1999.

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, speaks on Nigeria’s democratic journey so far.

10. There is a good opportunity for Igbos to produce the president of Nigeria in the near future or later. The political arrangement in the country is such that you need correlation with some parts of the North and South. The Igbo can make a move of getting partners from other parts of the country, in particular, the North.  It is not just to complain; meaningful efforts should be made to reach out to get partners so that eventually they will realise their aspirations; and I think they can.

Former Presidential Adviser, Tanko Yakasai, believes the Igbo ethnic group has a chance to produce a Nigerian President if it gets the blessing of other parts of the country, especially the North.

11. He died and left office without having mansions.

Bauchi state remembers Late Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first and only Prime Minister.

12. It’s very difficult to be ambitious when you are living in that kind of place because you are only seeing one thing and my goal is to expose them to more than what they have.

Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, Nyekachi Douglas speaks after stealing the headlines with her wild celebrations following the announcement of Miss Jamaica as the world’s most beautiful woman at the Miss World 2019 beauty pageant.

13. Please save me, I don’t want to die.

A young Nigerian lady who was trafficked to Lebanon regains her freedom and is handed over to the Nigerian Ambassador in Beirut.

14. Amotekun is a pleasant new year gift.

Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka declares his support for the Western Nigeria Security Network, popularly known as ‘Amotekun’.

15. It is unlawful for Buhari’s daughter to use the presidential jet for private affairs.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, says the private use of the Presidential Jet by members of President Buhari’s immediate family, is not in accordance with the law.

16. I insist that elections must be free and fair because I am a clear successor to a free and fair election.

President Muhammadu Buhari declares that as a beneficiary of a free and fair election in the country he would bequeath the same to his successor and the nation in 2023.

17. Heaven and Nigerians will never honour those involved in election rigging

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike speaks on attempts to rig elections in the oil-rich state.

18. I’ve Been vindicated because Nigeria is still ‘Jaga Jaga’.

Nigerian musician, Eedris Abdulkareem, says he feels vindicated 18 years after he released his hit song, ‘Nigeria Jaga Jaga’.

‘Sowore Is Not Miyetti Allah’, FG Is Treating Judiciary With Disdain – Soyinka

 

 

Prof. Wole Soyinka has said that the Federal Government’s continued disobedience to court rulings especially with regards to the case of Mr. Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, is an act of disrespect to the Judiciary. 

The Nobel Laureate said the nation continues to undergo the chagrin of having the rug pulled from under her feet while waiting on the long queue for judicial redress against the strong-arm culture of the state, as well as unlisted power interests.

In the case of Sowore who was arrested for calling for revolution to protest against bad governance via his #RevolutionNow# movement,  Soyinka asked: “Is Sowore Miyetti Allah?”

He further stated that “As for those agencies that actually think to inhibit social revolution by fastening on the alarmist association of the word ‘revolution’, half the citizens of this nation should be in permanent detention. From pulpit to the minaret, from clinic to fish market, from student club to motor park, the wish for a drastic transformation of this nation is staple discourse.”

Soyinka also stated that the degree of cynicism in the conduct of State Security agencies in the present administration has attained a level of consistency that is surpassed by only one other previous government.

The playwright and critic in a statement titled, ‘Between thuggery and state disobedience’, said it is sad that not only have the State Security agencies refused to obey a court order to release the suspect after fulfilling his bail conditions, but they have also manufactured one childish pretext after another, including a claim that no one has shown up to receive the detainee.

He condemned the arrest and continued detention of the human rights activist under what he described as the often specious alibi labeled “national security”.

Soyinka said much of the judiciary across the continent remains constantly under siege, adding that Nigeria is no exception.

Below is the state as published by the Nobel Laureate.

READ ALSO: Court Threatens To Jail DSS Boss Over Sowore’s Continued Detention

 Between THUGGERY and STATE DISOBEDIENCE

I have no hesitation in admitting that I have a  personal, formative interest in the health of the Nigerian judiciary, deeper perhaps than the average Nigerian. At a critical junction in the life of this writer, a judge resolved to give primacy to the call of conscience, affirm his professional integrity and defend the supremacy of law in defiance of state interference.

He refused to bow to external pressure in adjudicating a case whose conclusion, had this accused been found guilty as charged, would have been life imprisonment. That individual, the late Justice Kayode Eso, has narrated the event in his autobiography – The Mystery Gunman with his noted wit and judicial poise.

The Deputy Premier of the then Western region of Nigeria had summoned the judge to his residence, lectured him on his duty to protect the interests of the government against the accused. Justice Kayode listened politely, re-affirmed his commitment to the rule of law, and took his leave.

It would be most surprising if my own brush with the law has not crossed my mind since the predicament of Omoyele Sowole, journalist and former presidential candidate began.

The Nigerian judiciary was not thereby, nor is today a model of perfection.

Nonetheless, exemplars such as Justice Esho have succeeded in creating, in some of us, an exceptional respect for the Bench, instilled a conviction that the law, despite its lapses, demands respect, autonomy, and obedience.

Much of the judiciary across the continent remains constantly under siege – Nigeria is no exception. Needless to say, it often strikes me that the “learned brotherhood” could do more to protect, and assert itself. Apart from the obvious and numerous scandals of moral deficit that require constant internal purgation, there are instances where it does fail to protect itself even from putative and/or illegal power.

Take the assassination of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Bola Ige on his way to a UN appointment. The presiding judge on that case cried out against unseemly interference from “ least expected quarters”.

He kept a diary of coded names and times, two pages of which came into my possession. His cries petered out in the void. Justice Abass, feeling vulnerable and isolated, bowed out of the case. The judiciary lamely acquiesced, certainly with a huge sigh of relief in some sectors. A robust opportunity lost to burnish the image of the law. I was left aghast.

From tragedy to slapstick tragi-comedy – let us pull up an eye-witness account from the Nigerian PM News of Thursday, September 2014:

Temperamental Ekiti state Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, slapped a court judge today for being rude to him and then ordered his thugs to beat him further.

The action of Fayose and his thugs triggered some pandemonium in the court, with judicial workers and others running into safety. The sitting of the Ekiti State Governorship Election petition Tribunal could also not hold.

Immediately, thugs numbering about 20 pounced on Justice Adeyeye, beat him up and tore his clothes, while his co-workers scampered and shouted for help.

Following the development, judicial workers hurriedly shut down the court premises thereby preventing any court proceeding for hours before the police fired tear gas canisters to disperse the hoodlums.

For a week, two weeks, then forever, `I waited to see what would be the response of the judiciary. There came none. Naively, I thought, surely, this institution will rise and defend its very existence through some form of action, even if merely symbolic. Not a squeak. Not even after that governor left office and thereby lost his immunity. What to me appeared to be the collapse, not just of a pillar, but of the edifice of human culture, appeared to be no more than a blip on the judicial template.

There are of course more effective ways of degrading a judiciary than merely brutalizing a judge, and leaving his judicial robes in tatters. One of the most effective, increasingly optimized in Nigeria, is simply by not only ignoring, but treating its orders with disdain, encouraging its agencies to trot out cynical excuses for disobedience while laughing all the way to the citadel of power.

In that regard, there does appear to be an undeclared contest among succeeding governments, intensified since the return of the nation to a civilian government in 1999 for placement in the Guinness Book of Records as the most notorious Scofflaw in the field of democratic pretensions. Or could it be an anticipation of a proposal I made at the Athens Democracy Forum some months ago, calling for an annual award – such as an Order of Demerit – for such an achiever?

Perhaps we have finally attained maximum saturation, and there is no need for any further record keeping. It is extremely difficult to imagine a further lowering of the bar of disdain for the law than we have witnessed under the present regime. The degree of cynicism in the conduct of State Security agencies has attained a level of consistency that is surpassed by only one other previous government – but it is a close call. Not only does the security agency refuse to obey a court order to release a suspect after fulfilling his bail conditions, but that agency also manufactures one childish pretext after another, including a claim that no one has shown up to receive the detainee.

“His sureties have yet to show up to collect him”, declared the DSS, prime candidate for a special featuring in my “Interventions” series, periodically dedicated to the theme of The Republic of Liars. Are we speaking here of a full-grown adult, a journalist and former presidential aspirant, or an overnight bag awaiting the rightful claimant in a LOST AND FOUND department?

The nation continues to undergo the chagrin of having the rug pulled from under her feet while waiting on the long queue for judicial redress against the strong-arm culture of state, as well as unlisted power interests.

For instance, Lagos state, the former capital, and still the acknowledged commercial capital of the nation, once found herself denied statutory allocation for several years, despite repeated court declarations that such withholding by the central government was unconstitutional and should be remedied forthwith.

That president took sadistic pleasure in simply playing deaf. It took his successor to end the abuse and restore the full entitlements of that state, disobedience that went beyond mere churlishness but affected the development and welfare of the indigenes of that state. And so on, and on, waiting in vain for that day when the Rule of Law becomes commonplace, and its benefice is not doled out by the drop to famished mendicants.

So, finally, what do thuggery and court disobedience have in common?Everything! They are both Scofflaw manifestations. Unilateral declarations of Supra-Law delusions.

One is simply a more structured, more hypocritical version of the other. One knows itself for what it is, while the other tries to camouflage its abnormality under a higher purpose, the more elastic the better . Such is that often specious alibi labeled “national security”.

Is Sowore Myetti Allah? As for those agencies that actually think to inhibit social revolution by fastening on the alarmist association of the word ‘revolution’, half the citizens of this nation should be in permanent detention. From pulpit to the minaret, from clinic to fish market, from student club to motor park, the wish for a drastic transformation of this nation is staple discourse.

Perhaps we should begin with its application to that institution whose decisions affect both society and individuals with such finality, for good or ill – the judiciary.