Why I Won’t Be Part Of Debates On Buhari’s Second Term – Soyinka

Wole Soyinka
[Photo: dailytimes.com.ng]
Wole Soyinka [Photo: dailytimes.com.ng]

The Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, on Monday expressed disgust at the ongoing debate on whether President Muhammadu Buhari should re-contest in 2019.

Mr. Soyinka made this known in Lagos after a press briefing organised by the Wole Soyinka Foundation at Freedom Park.

The Nobel laureate said it was not appropriate to discuss Mr. Buhari’s re-election, saying he would not be part of such a debate.

“Why are we talking about a second term for heaven’s sake? I don’t understand this. I refuse to be part of that discussion. I absolutely refuse to be part of the discussion,” he said.

Commenting further, Mr. Soyinka noted that there are issues plaguing the present administration and that people agitating for state police and other concerns have reasons for such demands.

“Take simple security for instance,” he said, “the average citizen feels less secure now than he did a few years ago: that is evident. When people talk about state police, there are reasons for it. When they talk about bringing policing right down to the community level, they know what they are talking about. This is also part and parcel of reconstruction or reconfiguration.

“The economy, there is a big question about it right now. Fortunately, everybody admits that we went through a very bad patch. Right now, it is a question of have we come out of it or not or there is no question at all.

“The past few years have been years of real internal economic disaster for the average citizen.’’

He said there was a question of ”who was responsible for the agony the nation was plunged into in the last two years.”

On the need to restructure Nigeria, Mr. Soyinka accused some pundits of several attempts to cheapen the idea.

“It doesn’t matter what name you call it. We all know what we are talking about. We all know that this nation was deconstructed and that what we live in right now as a nation is not along a structure that expresses the true will of Nigerians.

“So, when people use words like  ‘restructuring’, ‘reconfiguring’ or call it ‘reconfiguration’, ‘return to status quo’, or call it reformulating the protocols of our association or use a single word like ‘restructuring’, it doesn’t matter. Everybody knows what we are talking about.

“Also, there are those who try to divert the attention away from the main issue by mouthing platitudes, clichés like ‘it is the mind that needs restructuring.’ You know those I am referring to.”
Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina recently criticised those calling for restructuring in an opinion piece. He asked such persons to ”restructure their minds first before calling for political restructuring.”

Mr. Soyinka said: “Restructuring the mind is not the issue. Nobody is saying that the exercise of restructuring the mind should not be undertaken; it should be undertaken. Anybody who indulges in self-examination is already engaging in an exercise of mental and attitudinal reconstruction. We know that. People shouldn’t try to substitute one for the other.

“I find it very dishonest and cheap trivialising the issue when I hear expressions like ‘it is the mind that needs to be restructured.’ Who is arguing or denying that? Why bring it up? Why is it a substitute?

“We are talking about the protocols of association of the constitutive parts of a nation. We are talking of decentralisation. That is another word. This country is over-centralised.

“Are you saying we cannot reconstruct the mind and reconstruct the nation at the same time? Call it by whatever name. We are saying that this nation is long overdue for reconfiguring. That is the expression I choose to use now.”

On concerns raised by some analysts about the propensity of restructuring efforts leading to the disintegration of the nation, Mr. Soyinka dismissed the fear as unfounded.

“I don’t know why people bother. Again, that is another ploy for sidetracking the issue. Nobody is talking about disuniting Nigeria,” he said.


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD:DIABETES Is CURABLE! Don't Let It Threaten You! To NORMALIZE Your Blood Sugar In 21Days For Life, Click Here!!!.

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.

  • abodes_124

    Thanks Prof. you have been struggling to find your voice and re-establish your authority since you shared bread with Amaechi at that infamous N80 million birthday party. The ‘thing’ they put in that bread has not completely brought you down ,such is your strength, but it will take its time to work its way out of your system.

  • Al

    Why is it Media pple always have interest to ride on this man, i wouldn’t be surprise if the man claim misquoted as usual. Beside that the man can’t decide for his neibors talkless of Nigerians at large, so the media shouldn’t always try to put word into his mouth plz

  • emmanuel

    Ogbeni Professor we know why. There are no more mumus like Amaechi who opened River State vault; stole their last kobo and shared with your likes to help their ascendancy to a worthless power.
    Sori o, Not even your South West Governors are ready to give you anything.
    Somebody should tell me weher Amaechi now resides, since the Perm Secs planted on him have silenced him technically, while know-nothing small girl NPA MD gives him instruction

    • Durotimi Oye

      All you yahoo boys that have turned to government sponsored internet trolls the 5k you collect cannot even fill your vehicle tank, wakeup o do you want this politicians to use you for the rest of your life,

      • emmanuel

        Who tell you say i get moto? I dey work for ya papa, who unfortunately is a wretch. That makes it difficult for me to renew my data subscription.
        But i don tell the truth finish.
        We must expose all the pretenders who claim to be pious and hoot in the day after meetings at witchraft coven overnight.
        All the gala night and book lunch and dinner with Amaechi don finish? Is Buhari not the best bride again? Go through Channels archives and see all the hobnobbing before 2015 general election and tell me why he nor go attend again?
        As for Amaechi, he has been retired politically and already regretting his folly