Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka has called on Nigerians to be prepared to deal with return to the trenches if a wrong choice is made in the March 28 Presidential elecection.
“All I know is that if a wrong choice is made, we must all be prepared and we should start preparing to go back to the trenches whatever it takes,” Soyinka told BBC’s Will Ross in an interview.
Asked about his view of the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari, who he wrote about in his memoir, Soyinka said his regime as head of state was second to only the Abacha regime in terms of brutality. However, he admits that people change.
“I’ve got to a point where I look at the possibility of genuine internal transformation in some individuals. I’ve been disappointed before and we must always be ready to be disappointed again. All I know is that if a wrong choice is made, we must all be prepared and we should start preparing to go back to the trenches whatever it takes.”
He explained what he meant by the trenches: “Let’s put it this way, the way you fight a civilian misrule is different from the way you deal with people like Sani Abacha. So, I’m saying that Nigerians should be prepared to deal with any new betrayal by any ruler with the same kind of passion, commitment and understanding of a lack of alternative as they did with Sani Abacha, because we cannot continue this cycle of repetitious evil and irresponsibility, that’s what I mean.”
While evaluating the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan, especially on his inability to stop Boko Haram insurgency, Soyinka said the government cannot be totally blamed.
“What happened is a clear failure on leadership. One cannot hold government solely on this, the responsibility actually spread around because the Boko Haram thing began in various ways a long time ago. There was a time they attempted Islamisation of this nation and it should have been stamped upon using the secular nature of the constitution as a weapon. While definitely the responsibility for what is going on now rests with Jonathan, the problem began with the previous government,” he said.