Soyinka Criticises Plans To Review Grazing Routes

 

*Faults NBC’s Query To Channels TV

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka on Friday criticised ongoing plans by the Federal Government to reopen grazing routes across the country.

Soyinka, speaking at a press conference in Lagos, said many experts have identified ranching as the solution to the perennial farmer-herder conflict.

“Virtually the whole nation is screaming (that) we do not want any open cattle grazing. Whether they go by the name of cattle routes or grazing reserves,” Soyinka said.

READ ALSO: Buhari Approves Review Of Grazing Reserves In 25 States

“Round the entire nation, we’ve had opinions surmounting the antiquated mode of cattle rearing.

“Even the all-powerful, untouchable Miyetti Allah, even they have gone on record to say that ranching is what we want.

“And when we think all that debate is settled in rational terms, along comes a new version, rather like Decree 4, of Ruga, with the President insisting on sending his agents out to map out and recover the old grazing reserves when governments and people and experts, agronomists, businesspeople are saying that this is a business and it should be conducted in this particular way.

“So why is this President obsessing about something which is being rejected right, left and centre?”

Soyinka was reacting to President Buhari’s approval, earlier this month, of the recommendations of a committee to review 368 grazing sites, across 25 states in the country, “to determine the levels of encroachment”.

‘Decree 4’

Soyinka also faulted the recent query the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission issued to Channels Television.

He likened it to Decree 4, an instrument designed to gag the press during the military era.

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

 

“I think nobody is left in any doubt that both the spirit and the letter of this broadcasting commission decree have indicated clearly that the freedom of expression is being taken and it should be stopped as quickly as possible,” he said.

‘Free Igboho’

Soyinka also described the raid by the Department of State Services on Sunday Igboho’s home as unjust and asked Benin Republic to release him as it had no need to detain him.

According to him, the Yoruba Nation activist had done nothing to warrant the invasion of his home by men of the DSS.

“Igboho peacefully demonstrated,” Soyinka said. “I don’t consider someone calling for secession a criminal act. As long as it is done peacefully, it is acceptable.”

He asked the government of Benin, where Igboho is currently under detention, to release him “and let him go about his business.”

I Don’t Like The Sound Of Yoruba Nation But Nigeria Is A Basket Case – Wole Soyinka

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

 

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has said he will prefer a united Nigeria but not in its current shape.

According to the eminent professor, those calling for Yoruba Nation still need to define what it really means, before he can be in a position to speak on it.

He made the remarks during a recent interview with BBC Pidgin.

In the same interview, Soyinka condemned the Federal Government’s raid of the home of Yoruba secessionist, Sunday Igboho.

What Soyinka Actually Said On Yoruba Nation

“I don’t like the sound of a Yoruba Nation anymore than I like the sound of a Tiv nation or an Igbo nation. The reason is this: there are certain pejorative overtones, chauvinistic overtones attached to it. That’s not the issue. When you talk about Yoruba Nation, are we talking about the creation of a nation within Nigeria alone or across colonial borders into Cotonou, Benin Republic, where Yoruba exists, moving on to Togo and even Ivory Coast? So when we talk about Yoruba Nation, I have to know exactly what you mean. Do we even talk about the Yoruba in the Diaspora?

“So it’s a question which is not for me to answer at this particular moment. All I know is this, on a sentimental level, I will prefer us to mend and manage what we have but under certain, rigorous conditions.

“The condition is decentralisation. We have to move away completely from this constitution which was imposed on us by an internal, neo-colonial force called the military. Now, if it had worked, if it were working, my position would have been different.

“My conditions are non-negotiable. We have to get away from the present political arrangement, because they clearly are not working; they are creating internal overlords, they are creating a skewed, lopsided revenue-sharing system. They are robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“Right now, what we have is not a nation but a basket-case, a real basket-case which is disintegrating all over the place, and all the contents are spilling over the basket. And all we are trying to do is to hold it there, grab it there, cover it there, cover that leak, and so on; a nation can’t continue like this. It’s obvious. And some people are more impatient than others.”

FG Should Apologise To Igboho, Stop Pursuing Him As A Criminal – Wole Soyinka

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

 

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has asked the Federal Government to apologise to Sunday Igboho after officials of the Department of State Services invaded his home and killed two of his associates.

The DSS invaded Igboho’s house in Ibadan, Oyo State, early on Thursday based on intelligence it said it had received that he was stockpiling arms to cause chaos within the region.

Igboho, who has been declared wanted by the DSS, had recently been calling for a ‘Yoruba Nation’ over what he has described as a ‘Fulani invasion’ of the South-West.

READ ALSO: Sunday Igboho Should Have Joined Amotekun – Ex-DSS Official

In an interview with BBC Pidgin published on Monday, Soyinka said the government’s actions and rationale for invading Igboho’s home “stinks.”

“My advise to the government is that they should stop pursuing Igboho as a criminal, because you have begun by acting in a criminal fashion against him,” he said.

“If and when Igboho comes to trial, I guarantee you the government will be very embarrassed.

“I think they should tell Igboho ‘we made a mistake’, ‘we should not have acted in this way’, ‘you are no longer wanted’, ‘go back to your home, in fact escort him to his home’ and let him resume his normal life.”

According to Soyinka, Igboho’s fight for freedom was preceded by criminal acts of enemies of Nigeria who “appear to be supported by the force of the State.”

While Soyinka noted he doesn’t ‘like the sound of a Yoruba Nation’ anymore than he likes the sound of a Tiv or Igbo nation, he said the country must be restructured through the decentralisation of power.

According to the erudite professor, Nigeria’s current structure was imposed upon the people by the military.

Soyinka Asks FG To Seek Help Over Insecurity, Stop Blame Trade

Impunity Rides Again – Wole Soyinka
A file photo of Professor Wole Soyinka.

 

Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has called on the Federal Government to seek help where necessary to regain peace in the country and chart a way forward without using Nigerians as victims.

He made the call in a statement while reacting to the killings across the country by bandits, terrorists, and other gunmen in the country.

Professor Soyinka decried that these gunmen have sacrificed and traumatised the country’s youths beyond their capacity to cope.

According to him, the country is at war and it is time to stop pretending while the government should 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.

Read his full statement below:

The Endless Martyrdom Of Youth

Abubakar Atiku 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.

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.

They are death throes. Vultures and undertakers hover patiently but with full confidence. The dogs of war stopped merely baying years ago. Again and again, they have sunk their fangs into the jugular of this nation.

The plague called COVID has met its match on the earth of some nation space once known as Nigeria. I grieve with the bereaved, but mourn even more for our youth so routinely sacrificed, burdened with uncertainty, and traumatised beyond youth’s capacity to cope.

To this government, we repeat the public cry:

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.

Wole SOYINKA

The Endless Martyrdom Of Youth By Wole Soyinka

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

 

Abubakar Atiku 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.

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.

They are death throes. Vultures and undertakers hover patiently but with full confidence. The dogs of war stopped merely baying years ago. Again and again, they have sunk their fangs into the jugular of this nation.

The plague called COVID has met its match on the earth of some nation space once known as Nigeria. I grieve with the bereaved, but mourn even more for our youth so routinely sacrificed, burdened with uncertainty, and traumatised beyond youth’s capacity to cope.

To this government, we repeat the public cry:

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.

 

Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright, novelist, poet, and essayist. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first sub-Saharan African to be honoured in that category

 

Ogun Launches Amotekun Corps, Decorates Wole Soyinka As Super Marshal

 

Ogun State government on Thursday launched the State Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun.

At the event which was held in Abeokuta, the state capital, the state Governor Dapo Abiodun also decorated Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka as Super Marshal of the corps.

READ ALSO: Missing Aircraft: Air Force Chief Visits Borno, Calls For Calm

The governor also commissioned scores of patrol vans and motorcycles to aid the operations of the Amotekun Corps.

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun during the launch of Amotekun in the state. PHOTO: @dabiodunMFR/Twitter

 

Abiodun said the launch is imperative in order to stem the tides of security challenges being witnessed in the state in recent times.

He called for synergy of purpose among security operatives and warned criminals to stay off the state as the state will not be a place to hibernate.

Soyinka in his address urged the Amotekun corps to operate within the ambit of the law that establishes it.

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun decorates Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka as Super Marshal of Amotekun corps in Ogun State. PHOTO: @dabiodunMFR/Twitter

 

The security outfit was established by the Ogun State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps Law 2020 and was signed into law by Governor Abiodun on March 24, 2020.

 

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun during the launch of Amotekun in the state. PHOTO: @dabiodunMFR/Twitter

States Should Shut Down In Protest When Next Child Kidnapping Happens – Soyinka

 

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka on Saturday said States should consider shutting down their activities when the next student abduction takes place.

Soyinka, who was speaking during the launch of his latest novel “Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth” in Abeokuta, was addressing the recent spate of student abductions across the country.

More than 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped on Friday in Zamfara, the latest of such attacks.

The literature professor said such abductions were unacceptable and “drastic, meaningful measures” must be taken in unison.

READ ALSO: Kagara Schoolboys, Others Arrive Minna

“The abductions of our children, when will it end, how will it end? I don’t think anyone of us can tell,” he said. “But it is important that we continue to stress and to remind ourselves that, not only are these abnormal times, but it seems to be, to me anyway, times of the shirking of responsibility in very key areas.

“We cannot permit ourselves – we just cannot – continue in this fashion. Something drastic, meaningful has to take place, and it has to be collective.

“This is no longer the responsibility of those at the top (who are ) supposed to be in charge of security, in charge of governance; they have clearly failed the populace. They’ve failed us. There is no point in trying to reason it out, to find excuses, to lay blame.

“The important thing is that we are very close to accepting a culture of the unacceptable

“I think we are reaching the point where, in any state, where any child is kidnapped, that state should shut down completely. And other states, in solidarity, should at least shut down some of their activities.

“We shouldn’t wait for an enemy, faceless, airborne, unpredictable enemy like Covid to make us shut down.

“In protest and as a statement of the unacceptable, we are shutting ourselves down until this situation is resolved.”

Soyinka’s Home Was Not Attacked, Says Son

Wole Soyinka [File Photo]

 

The residence of Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, located in Abeokuta Ogun State, was neither attacked nor invaded by suspected herdsmen.

His son, Dr Olaokun Soyinka confirmed this in a statement on Wednesday, after rumours had made the rounds that his home had been under attack and invaded by cows.

“Spreading such disinformation is dangerous,” Dr Olaokun said.

He, however, confirmed that cows did stray into the land belonging to the Nobel Laureate.

“To repeat, I have confirmed that while cows did stray onto his land yesterday, there has been no attack, no violence, and no attempt to enter the house.

“Kindly debunk this information where you can.

“We do not need confusion added to the already tense situation in the country”.

The police have also debunked the claims.

The state Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Edward Ajogun who visited the residence following the report, explained that three cows indeed strayed into the compound of the literary icon.

While giving an assurance of adequate protection of life and property, the state police boss described the incident as a trespass on the part of the herders.

Watch the video below.

The Kukah Offence And Ongoing Offensives By Wole Soyinka

 

The timing of Bishop Matthew Kukah’s Christmas message, and the ensuing offensives could not be more fortuitous, seeing that it comes at a time when a world powerful nation, still reeling from an unprecedented assault on her corporate definition, is now poised to set, at the very least, a symbolic seal on her commitment to the democratic ideal.

Let no one be in any doubt that some of the most extreme of the violent forces that recently assaulted her governance citadel are sprung from religious and quasi-religious affirmations, a condition that still enables many of them to be brainwashed into accepting literally, and uncritically, indeed as gospel truth, any pronouncement, however outrageous and improbable, that emerges from their leadership.

As usual, we have not lacked, within our own distanced environment, advocates who, even till recently, claimed to have seen in their vision, the triumph of God’s own anointed in the electoral contest of that same United States.

They have been specific in their prophesy that what was denied at the ballot box would be restored in the law courts. And to set a divine seal on the matter, were not our streets in a part of this nation actually inundated by religious processions in support of the candidacy of their supposed Messiah, named Donald Trump?

They had conferred on him the mantle of upholder of Christian values, endangered by satanic practices in, of all places, a nation designated as – God’s own Country!

Of course, not all such tendencies represent the true face of any professed religion, we need only remark that all religions are plagued by a lunatic fringe.

In this nation, we have learnt the painful way what such inbred loonies are capable of. Thus, extreme care, and historic awareness, should be taken in imputing any act or pronouncement as an attack on faith. At base, competitors for recognition as first-line defenders of the ramparts of religiosity are often motivated by non-religious agenda, which is yet another reason for the exercise of restraint and collective responsibility.

It should not come as a surprise that a section of our Islamic community, not only claims to have found offence in Bishop Kukah’s New Year address, what is bothersome, even unwholesome, is the embedded threat to storm his ‘Capitol’ and eject him, simply for ‘speaking in tongues’.

Any pluralistic society must emphatically declare such a response unacceptable. On a personal note, I have studied the transcript as reported in the media and found nothing in it that denigrates Islam but then, I must confess, I am not among the most religion besotted inhabitants of the globe. That, I have been told, disqualifies me from even commenting on the subject and, quite frankly, I wish that were indeed the case. Life would far less be complicated. However, the reverse position does not seem to be adopted by such religionists in a spirit of equity. They do not hesitate to intervene; indeed, some consider themselves divinely empowered to intervene, even dictate in secular life.

With the foregoing out of the way, we are compelled to remind ourselves that religion is upheld, and practised, not by robots, not by creatures from outer space, not by abstract precepts, but by human beings, full of quirks, frailties and conceits, filled with their own individual and collective worth, and operate in the here and now of this very earth.

That makes religion the business of everyone, especially when it is manipulated to instill fear, discord and separatism in social consciousness. The furore over Bishop Kukah’s statement offers us another instance of that domineering tendency, one whose consequences are guaranteed to spill over into the world of both believers and non-believers, unless checked and firmly contained. In this nation of religious opportunism of the most destructive kind especially, fuelled again and again by failure to learn from past experience, we must at least learn to nip extremist instigations in the bud.

One of the ironic features of religionists is, one is forced to conclude, a need to be offended. It is as if religion cannot exist unless it is nourished with the broth of offence. This may be due to an inbuilt insecurity, a fear that even the ascribed absolutes of faith may be founded on nothing more than idealistic human projections, not grounded in anything durable or immutable.

Hence the over prickliness, aggressiveness, sometimes even bullying tendencies and imperious posturing. This leads to finding enemies where there are none. In certain social climates, it degenerates into inventing enmities in order to entrench theocratic power. In its own peculiar way, this is actually a rational proceeding. A perceived threat to a collectivity tends to rally even waverers round the flag. The core mission of faith custodians then becomes presenting religion as being constantly under siege. It all contributes to interpreting even utterances of no hostile intent as “enemy action”.

Was it all that long ago when el Rufai – now governor of Kaduna state – came under blistering attack by the Christian community for allegedly insulting the divine persona of Jesus Christ?

What did el Rufai say exactly? Nothing new or startling. All he did was deploy a common, everyday figure of speech to describe an overwhelming challenge. Both the circumstances and his exact phrasing elude me right now, but all it amounted to was that even Jesus Christ would find a particular problem intractable. Or perhaps it was simply that even Jesus Christ, were to return to earth, would be subjected to the Nigerian national culture of calumny?

One or the other but, it hardly matters. What does matter was that instantly, there were demands from the ever-ready Onward Christian Soldiers – led by CAN leadership – for a withdrawal and apology. To my intense disappointment – as I declared at the time — el Rufai obliged.

A huge mistake. Again, and again, we have warned against succumbing to irrational demands of religionists, yet even the brutal lessons of past surrenders appear to exercise no traction on society’s faculty of cause and effect, especially in that religious propensity for incremental demands. Surrender one inch, they demand a mile!

And how near impossible it is to come to grips with an even more recent and egregious bill of offence that took place over this very last Christmas of the year 2020! The now universal sales pitch of BLACK FRIDAY to lure seasonal shopping addicts to Sale bonanzas drew solemn, sanctimonious flak from some religionists from the other side, this time the Islamic. A formal statement was issued, declaring these commonplace sale tactics an assault on the Islamic religion, since Friday happens to be its day of worship.

These are the depths of absurdity into which society is dragged by the coils of spurious purism. Until now, we have yet to learn of Boko Haram, ISWAP, al-Shabbab and other rabid Islamists declaring a cessation from killings in honour of Holy Friday. Again, one station that carried the broadcasts tamely withdrew its promotional campaign. Another piece of secular – that is, neutral – territory ignominiously surrendered. The tail continues to wag the dog.

Lest the point be missed or watered down, the escalation of such irrationality is very simply outlined. Christians, not to be outdone, will seize the next opportunity to remind the rest of the world how their own Holy Day, Sunday, must and must not be used in mundane transactions in the future. Next, the Seventh-Day Adventists will demand no-go areas for Saturdays. After that, the Hindus, the Sikhs, plus the thousand and one religions of the world cornering their own Holy Day, then week, then month until we are moved to reconstruct the present calendar entirely, abandon solar principles and rebuild temporal notation around some newly discovered power planet. Did that broadcasting station consider, for a moment, the preposterous dimensions of that sectarian demand before yielding ground to a ridiculous minority of extremists?

Of far weightier substance than any vaporous religiosity, however, is the early mentioned civic condition of all occupiers of the same demarcated slab of earth, called nation, and their material and non-material entitlement as guaranteed by their enabling constitution.

When any individual or group, however lofty and privileged in its own self-regard, orders a citizen to quit his or her chosen place of habitation, then the very concept of nation being is nullified. This is not the first time this fundamental principle of co-existence has been challenged. Still fresh in one’s mind was the mode of response by the Inspector-General of Police to a similar violation by a northern Youth organization a few years ago when that group pronounced a deadline for the Igbo to quit their abode throughout the northern territory of Nigeria.

It was a dangerous, provocative act, incendiary under any condition. That worthy maintainer of law and order was asked – and I recall this distinctly – why he failed to take action against this incitement to mayhem, such as even inviting the self-acknowledged leaders “for a chat”.

That question was, of course, posed in the context of the starkly contrasting ‘rapid response’ agility by state security agencies, when a similar inciting proclamation was made by an Igbo group ‘expelling’ northern citizens from their territory.

His answer was: such action would have security implications. By contrast, the Igbo group was proscribed as a terrorist organization. It should be chastening to any government that its proclamation remains ignored internationally.

What is Bishop Kukah saying? Simply what observant and concerned citizens of United States society recently remarked. The conduct of the US security forces, when confronted by peaceful protesters during the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement, was vastly different from that of the same security agencies when a predominantly white mob invaded its seat of government, thrashed it and hunted down a people’s elected representatives, rampaging for hours before they were finally “escorted out”.

Such a contrast goes to the heart of the nation being and poses a real and urgent danger. That accusation has been voiced by both sides of the colour divide and across class divisions. Again and again, the warning was loudly voiced, it was unheeded. We remain fools if we fail to learn from the costly complacencies of others.

The obvious issue, to summarize, is – double standards. Lack of equitable dealing. Agreement or disagreement with Bishop Kukah’s position is demonstration of a nation’s badge of maturity, and should be read, quite obviously, as a continuation of that nagging, provocative discourse.

One fails to understand why religion is being sprung centre stage as a legitimate extract from that New Year address. There is a deliberate, emotive displacement of a central concern. It is calculated avoidance, diversionary, and thus, nationally unhealthy. Humans should not attempt to play ostrich.

Nigeria Had Always Been Divided, Presidency Replies Soyinka

 

The presidency has been reacting to recent comments by Professor Wole Soyinka, suggesting that under the present government Nigeria has become more divided than ever before.

Mr. Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, says while the Nobel Laureate is respected and revered, not everything he utters should be taken absolutely.

“Professor Wole Soyinka is somebody we respect, you don’t have them too many in a country, even on a continent. Professor Soyinka is an icon, he is an avatar, we respect him, we listen to him but then we don’t take everything he says hook, line, and sinker,” the president’s special adviser said.

According to Adesina who on Wednesday was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, President Buhari inherited a “terribly” divided country, one which he has been trying to reunite since he came to power back in 2015.


Obasanjo’s Comment: Not Every Criticism Should Give You Sleepless Nights – Adesina

Obasanjo Says Nigeria Is Falling Apart Under Buhari, Offers Solution

Nigeria More Divided Than Ever Before, Soyinka Backs Obasanjo


The president’s media aide said, “Nigeria had always been divided. Always. Right from amalgamation in 1914, Nigeria has always been divided. Nigeria is an inconvenient amalgamation but we have worked at it and I tell you that there is no time in the history of this country that the country was not divided but then we had kept at it and we were trying to make it work.

“As of 2015, when President Buhari came, Nigeria was terribly, terribly divided; divided along religious lines, divided along ethnic lines; divided along language, divided hopelessly, terribly and that is the division that the President had been working at. But you see that a lot of people instead of letting harmony return to this country, thrive and luxuriate in widening the gulf. They play politics with everything.”

Similarly, Adesina said not every criticism against the Buhari-led administration should be taken seriously.

Addressing recent comments by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the media aide said all criticisms must be thoroughly looked at to ascertain what value they add to discussions around moving the nation forward.

Obasanjo while delivering a speech titled ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups, said Nigeria is falling apart under Buhari.

At the consultative dialogue attended by members of various groups, including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, and Pan Niger Delta Forum, Obasanjo noted that the country is becoming the world capital of poverty.

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

He said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in,” Obasanjo said. “Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.

“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration, and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.”

In reaction to Obasanjo’s comments, Adesina argued that “not every criticism should give one sleepless night”.

According to Adesina, there is no government that Obasanjo has not criticized.

“Obasanjo has criticised every government since the Shehu Shagari government that succeeded him in 1979. The only government he has not criticised is the Olusegun Obasanjo government”.

The media aide added that Obasanjo has a right to air his opinions, he, however, stressed that it is in the Buhari government’s right to take the former president’s reproval or dismiss them as mere claims aimed to detract from a performing administration.

Nigeria More Divided Than Ever Before, Soyinka Backs Obasanjo

Professor Wole Soyinka (File Photo)

 

 

Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, says Nigeria is more divided than ever before under the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

He said this on Tuesday in a statement titled “Between ‘Dividers-in-chief’ and Dividers-in-law,”.

“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,” he said.

Speaking further, Mr Soyinka accused the President of going to sleep while communities were ravaged by cattle rustlers and thousands were displaced.

According to him, even when the President visited the scenes, rather than proffer an authoritative solution, he “advised 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, proceed? – with the wisdom that they, the brutalised citizenry, should learn to bow under the yoke and negotiate, since “only the living” can enjoy the dividends of legal rights?”.

His comments come just days after former President Olusegun Obasanjo made similar comments about the state of the country.

Read Also: Obasanjo Says Nigeria Is Falling Apart Under Buhari, Offers Solution

Obasanjo said the country is failing and badly divided due to the recent mismanagement.

He made the comment in Abuja on Thursday while delivering a speech titled ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups.

The consultative dialogue was attended by members of various groups, including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum.

“I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in,” Obasanjo said.

“Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.

“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.”

Soyinka also noted that while he was not a fan of Obasanjo, he would not hesitate to agree with “any accurate reading of this nation from whatever source”.

He said, “I am notoriously no fan of Olusegun Obasanjo, General, twice former president and co-architect with other past leaders of the crumbling edifice that is still generously called Nigeria. I have no reasons to change my stance on his record. Nonetheless, I embrace the responsibility of calling attention to any accurate reading of this nation from whatever source, as a contraption teetering on the very edge of total collapse. We are close to extinction as a viable comity of peoples, supposedly bound together under an equitable set of protocols of co-habitation, capable of producing its own means of existence, and devoid of a culture of sectarian privilege and will to dominate.”

Netflix Partners Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife Studios To Adapt Two Nigerian Literary Classics

Ebony Studios To Produce Shoneyin, Soyinka’s Literary Work For Netflix

 

Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife Media has penned a contract with the streaming giant, Netflix, to make film adaptations of two Nigerian literary classics.

The two classics are Lola Shoneyin’s acclaimed novel The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives and Wole Soyinka’s Death And The King’s Horseman.

Netflix Naija made the announcement in a thread on Twitter, Friday.

“Netflix has partnered with acclaimed producer @MoAbudu to bring you two of Nigeria’s most beloved literary classics to screens around the world!” part of the tweet read.

Netflix in a statement said that they “ . . . believe that more people deserve to see their lives reflected on screen and for that to happen, we need to make sure there’s a wide variety of content that caters to our members’ diverse tastes.”

Ebony Life Studios has produced box office hits like Fifty, Isoken, and Wedding Party.

Dorothy Ghettuba, Netflix lead for Original Series in Africa commended Abudu’s work saying, “Mo is at the forefront of creative storytelling in African television. Her passion for creating high-quality, riveting multi-genre films and TV shows that capture the imagination while showcasing the diversity and richness of Nigerian culture is evident in her impressive body of work.”

Reacting to the adaptation of her book, which the video streaming platform said will be first produced, Lola Shoneyin said, “I was thrilled when Mo contacted me about making a show out of my novel The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. I’d turned down so many offers but this one felt right.”

Shoneyin said it is an opportunity to see her work in the hands of “a woman who pursued excellence” in Africa in the same way she did.

“I grew to trust her very quickly, so when she told me about the possibility of working with Netflix, I was overjoyed,” she added. “Soon, people everywhere will have access to the story of Baba Segi. And that is more than I could have asked for as a writer.”

Abudu tweeted that she was thrilled that five years after she requested and acquired the rights for Wole Soyinka’s play, she gets to produce it as a feature film.

 

In his reaction, Wole Soyinka said he is delighted to see the robust challenges offered by the female gender in a male-dominated creative industry.

“Mo Abudu’s incursion into this arena as film and television producer has been especially stimulating. It becomes part of one’s sense of achievement if one has contributed, however minutely, to the creation of an enabling environment,” he said.