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Nigeria: “Between ‘Dividers-in-chief’ and Dividers-in-law” -Soyinka Compares Obasanjo, Buhari Regimes
Category :- Literary Corner Author :- N Gelmin S 
Posted on September 15, 2020, 3:08 pm
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Nigerian playwright, Prof Wole Soyinka has observed that the country is more divided under the current regime of Muhammadu Buhari than it was in the reign of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The literary figure made his observation public in a recent statement signed titled, “Between ‘Dividers-in-chief’ and Dividers-in-law,” in which he literarily places his opinion of the two rules but maintaining that he is not fan of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

wole soyinka

“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,” Soyinka said.

wole soyinka and President Buhari

During the African Day 2019 Soyinka took the opportunity to remind the ruling government of the warnings by the ‘Otta farmer’ over the self-destruct turn that the nation had taken.

His present statement further reads: “That advice appears to have fallen on deaf ears. In place of reasoned response and openness to some serious dialogue, what this nation has been obliged to endure has been insolent distractions from garrulous and coarsened functionaries, apologists and sectarian opportunists.

Wole Soyinka

“The nation is divided as never before, and this ripping division has taken place under the policies and conducts 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 traumatized 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’?

Wole Soyinka quote

“Was it a spokesman for some ghost president who chortled in those early, yet controllable stages of now systematized 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?”

Last week, Obasanjo said the country was slowly becoming a failed state and more divided under the Buhari regime. Reacting to this statement, the presidency in a comment described the ex-president as a ‘Divider-in-chief.”

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