Nigeria’s Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, criticized both candidates running for Presidency in the forthcoming elections.
He made known his position during the recent interview with BBC. According to Soyinka, Nigeria has better options than Goodluck Jonathan (Peoples Democratic Party) and Muhammadu Buhari (All Progressives Congress). He described the two candidates as “problematic”.
Speaking about Boko Haram insurgency, the respected Nigerian stressed that the responsibility rested with President Jonathan adding however that GEJ-led government was not the only one to blame. The professor stressed that the problem emerged under previous administrations.
Regarding Buhari’s military past, which is always being recalle by the APC opponents, Soyinka said:
“If you sup with the devil make sure you have a long spoon. In my calculation no spoon existed long enough to justify the risk of even an impromptu snack.”
He believes however that Buhari might have changed for the better.
“Buhari and his partner General Tunde Idiagbon, after [former military head of state] Sani Abacha, I think they represented the most brutal face of military dictatorship. There is no question about that.
“But the environment changes, circumstances change and… I look at the possibility of a genuine internal transformation in some individuals. I’ve been disappointed before and we must always be ready to be disappointed again.”
The author pointed out the importance of dealing with misrule, no matter who wins in the polls.
“Nigerians should be prepared to deal with any new betrayal by any ruler with the same passion and commitment… as they did with Sani Abacha because we cannot continue this cycle of repetitious evil and irresponsibility.”
Africa’s first Nobel prize winner called for “an aerial bombardment with weapons of the mind” as one of the ways to tackle Boko Haram.
“All kinds of propaganda leaflets should have been raining in those areas because not all members of Boko Haram are convinced. They need to know there is an exit and the state will take care of them. Then the waverers’ minds have to be reinforced on the positive side – on the side of humanity.
“The kind of propaganda being used now between the political parties, just a fraction of that should have gone into attacking Boko Haram.”
Intense political battle between the two major presidential candidates continues. Nigerians are to make their choice March 28. Initially, the elections were scheduled for February 14, however a week before the date, the polls were postponed over security issues.