Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has condemned President Goodluck Jonathan for the furore generated by the #BringBack Jonathan 2015 campaign and his trip to the Chad Republic, where former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff was presented as a presidential travelling companion.
In a piece, titled ‘Wages of Impunity,’ Soyinka noted that although President Jonathan has disowned the BringBack Jonathan 2015 campaign “but, the damage has been done, the rot in a nation’s collective soul bared to the world.”
“The very possibility of such a desecration took the Nigerian nation several notches down in human regard. It confirmed the very worst of what external observers have concluded and despaired of – a culture of civic callousness, a coarsening of sensibilities and, a general human disregard.
“It affirmed the acceptance, even domination of lurid practices where children are often victims of unconscionable abuses including ritual sacrifices, sexual enslavement, and worse. Spurred by electoral desperation, a bunch of self-seeking morons and sycophants chose to plumb the abyss of self-degradation and drag the nation down to their level. It took us to a hitherto unprecedented low in ethical degeneration.”
On Jonathan’s trip to Chad, Soyinka wrote: ” As if to confirm all the such surmises, an ex-governor, Sheriff, notorious throughout the nation – including within security circles as affirmed in their formal dossiers – as prime suspect in the sponsorship league of the scourge named Boko Haram, was presented to the world as a presidential traveling companion. And the speculation became: was the culture of impunity finally receiving endorsement as a governance yardstick?
“Again, Goodluck Jonathan swung into a plausible explanation: it was Mr. Sheriff who, as friend of the host President Idris Deby, had traveled ahead to Chad to receive Jonathan as part of President Deby’s welcome entourage. What, however does this say of any president? How come it that a suspected affiliate of a deadly criminal gang, publicly under such ominous cloud, had the confidence to smuggle himself into the welcoming committee of another nation, and even appear in audience, to all appearance a co-host with the president of that nation?
“Where does the confidence arise in him that Jonathan would not snub him openly or, after the initial shock, pull his counterpart, his official host aside and say to him, “Listen, it’s him, or me.”? So impunity now transcends boundaries, no matter how heinous the alleged offence?
“The Nigerian president however appeared totally at ease. What the nation witnessed in the photo-op was an affirmation of a governance principle, the revelation of a decided frame of mind – with precedents galore. Goodluck Jonathan has brought back into limelight more political reprobates – thus attested in criminal courts of law and/or police investigations – than any other Head of State since the nation’s independence. It has become a reflex.” [Vanguard]