Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has described the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration as a colossal failure to the Nigerian people.
The Nobel Laureate made this assertion while fielding questions as a guest on the BBC’s HardTalk show yesterday.
Prof. Soyinka, who was reacting to questions posed on the over 200 abducted female students of a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, stated that the primary responsibility of any government was to be responsible to its citizens.
When asked about an editorial in a national daily that described Nigeria as a failed state, Soyinka said he has had cause to use that expression himself.
According to him, “I’ve had moments when I feel Nigeria is a failed state but it is not beyond redemption”.
He added: “I must express my feelings that this government has failed the nation.
“The primary task right now for me is to demonstrate our sense of responsibility to those we bring into the world and those we send to danger zones.
“If we fail them, we fail the entire nation and lose our self-respect”.
Soyinka stressed that ongoing global action on the missing Chibok girls must be sustained until the students are reunited with their families.
Warning that it would be a disservice to think that what is happening now affects only one section of the nation, Soyinka said there are cells breaking out in the southern part of the country.
“It is only a matter of time before we are overwhelmed in the south”, he warned.
When asked to share his thought on calls by some Nigerians that the president should resign, Soyinka told his host: “Let me tell you something: if I have the conviction one way or the other, I will be the first person to call the president (to say) for the sake of this nation, you must sacrifice whatever ambitions you have and you must hand over to whatever kind of transitional… I won’t say it in public. I will say it to him first”.
He noted that Nigerians have not given up on the girls but said he is hurt at the pace in which the federal government has handled the situation so far.
That one small sect cannot hold the entirety of a secular system to follow their beliefs, he said.
He also expressed dissatisfaction that Nigeria is not progressing in the right direction just as he picked holes with President Jonathan’s assertion that corruption is not an endemic problem in Nigeria.
On politics he said, “Thank goodness Nigerians has not given up, otherwise you would not have the demonstration going on, the discoursse in very strident terms.
“Every society has its own moments of critical mass. Nigeria has finally reached its own moment of critical mass. For me it is very belated. It is not belated it is late. It should have happen much earlier”.