SOYINKA BACKS OBASANJO, SAYS NIGERIA DRIFTING INTO TOTAL COLLAPSE
By Gbenga Adeniji, Friday Olokor,Leke Baiyewu, Raphael Ede and Daud Olatunji
Elder statesman and playwright, Prof Wole Soyinka, has said the country is more divided as never before under the current regime of Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).
Soyinka, in a statement signed from his Autonomous Residence of Ijegba, Idi-Aba Estate, Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Tuesday titled, “Between ‘Dividers-in-chief’ and Dividers-in-law,” said though not a fan of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, he embraced the responsibility of calling attention to any accurate reading of the country.
Obasanjo last week said the country was slowly becoming a failed state and more divided under the Buhari regime. But the Presidency reacted to the comment by describing the ex-president as a ‘Divider-in-chief.”
But on Tuesday, Soyinka stated, said, “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.”
The Nobel laureate stated that in May he called the attention of the current government to the “self-destruct” turn that the nation had taken.
He said, “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 have been insolent distractions from garrulous and coarsened functionaries, apologists and sectarian opportunists.
Backing Obasanjo, the playwright said, “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 .
“Nigeria is a suppurating slaughter slab, and it boggles the mind that supposedly wise and lettered men, sheltering under any religious mandate, would go into a solemn huddle to ‘legitimately’ augment the toll of mindless killings that now plague the land.
“The nation is divided as never before, and this ripping division has taken place under the policies and conduct 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 advise the traumatised victims to learn to live peacefully with their violators?
“Across this nation, there is profound distrust, indeed abandonment of hope in this government as one that is genuinely committed to the survival of the nation as one, or indeed understands the minimal requirements for positioning it as a modern, functional space of productive occupancy.
“Are pensioners still considered human, deserving the rewards of labour without further labour? Many collapse from that extended labour of recovering routine entitlements.
“Even routine access to that basic human requirement – food – is now under question, as farmers are chased off their farms in large numbers. Instead of timely action – urged stridently by beleaguered governors and of course by ‘professional agitators’ – appeasement of the violent food saboteurs was the preferred route to food security – operating under fancy names like RUGA.”
The playwright wondered how graduates and young school leavers would thus be persuaded to try farming instead of flooding urban centres looking for non-existent white-collar positions?
He noted, “To get killed and dismembered? And what is the score within those much-coveted urban precincts? Lop-sided appointments to crucial positions in civil service and parastatals! Consider the prime economic cash cow–petroleum – exposed a few months ago as a reeking cesspit of nepotism. Who is the Minister of Petroleum under whose watch such an unprecedented contempt for geographical parity – uncontroverted till today – became entrenched? That happens to be none other than the nation’s President – and he did make a show of astonishment at the gross disparities, promised to subject the anomaly to immediate enquiry. May one ask what action has been taken to rectify that presumably “nation-unifying” compilation? ,,
“It all casts a long, unedifying shadow backwards to those days of agitation by Tai Solarin and the mercuric engineer, Awojobi when the same Buhari took forceful charge of that ministry, promised to get to the root of the flying charges– anyone still recall the saga of the missing millions? He made a beeline for the home of a prominent political leader and carted away loads of files in his illegal possession. In vain the nation awaited enlightenment – Nothing!”
Saying inequity reigned and solutions trivialised, Soyinka stated that several times voices were raised to urge the dismantling of a crude, militarised centralist contraption– repeatedly exposed in illegalities– and substitute with a more efficient governance system, decentralised, providing broader access to opportunities.
The elder statesman noted, “All such efforts are turned into opportunities for legislative junketing and budget padding. Legislators watch with indifference in this day of human advance, as individuals are sentenced to hang for expressing their views on the relative apprehension of religious avatars, not a squeak emerge from such lawgivers.”
Nobel laureate urges PUNCH to rerun ex-Ambassador’s interview on plot to Islamise Nigeria
Explaining plots against the country by some powerful Nigerians, Soyinka cited revelations made by a former Ambassador, Bola Dada, in an interview with Saturday PUNCH a few years ago.
He stated, “Archives remain ever obliging. They avail us vivid material to decide whether or not a sinister script is being acted out today with copious libations from Nigerian blood. I think, in public interest, The PUNCH should re-run that interview, most especially in view of recent claims by a columnist in The Nation – Femi Abbas September 4 — regarding how and by whom Nigeria was corralled into the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Countries).”
In his interview with Saturday PUNCH on April 12, 2014, Dada said he was chased out of Sudan when he raised the alarm about Boko Haram.
He stated, “There was a covenant between Sudan and Libya to destabilise Nigeria to promote Islamisation. So, what is happening to President Goodluck Jonathan now may have something to do with that pact. They call it Afikaya.”|
Also on Tuesday, the Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr Toby Okechukwu, advised the Presiden to take the advice Obasanjo and not attack the ex-President.
Okechukwu, in a statement issued on Tuesday, urged the Presidency to take the issues recently raised by Obasanjo seriously, saying it was wrong and unwise to discard both the message and messenger.
Also, the President of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, in an interview with The PUNCH, supported Soyinka and Obasanjo.
He said, “The statement by the elder statesmen is correct. The President needs to heed to the wise counsel of General Obasanjo in order to save the country from total collapse as anarchy looms. God save Nigeria.”
Presidency may abuse Soyinka – Afenifere
On his part, the spokesman for the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said, “The great teacher (Soyinka) has come to give a lecture on nation building. It is only doubtful if these pupils are ready or teachable.
“We will not be surprised if they resort to abusing the great professor the way Garba Shehu did some weeks back that he is just a playwright.”
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said nobody should insult Obasanjo for saying the truth.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chief Chuks Ibegbu, who spoke to one of our correspondents stated, “Nobody should insult him for saying the facts as they are.”
LEKKI SHOOTINGS: SANWO-OLU HAS LOST CREDIBILITY, SAYS FSD
LEKKI SHOOTINGS: SANWO-OLU HAS LOST CREDIBILITY, SAYS FSD
By Oladimeji Ramon
A group, the Federal Social Democrats, says the credibility and integrity of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have been diminished by the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate on the night of October 20.
According to the group, the Lekki incident has eroded the admiration that Sanwo-Olu won with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group, in statement on Sunday signed on its behalf by Olutola Mobolurin, also condemned the harassment of #EndSARS protest leaders through the freezing of their bank accounts and stopping them from travelling outside the country.
The FSD’s statement was titled, ‘Statement by the Federal Social Democrats On the #EndSARS Movement and Violence in the Wake of Lekki Shootings.’
The group said, “Governor Sanwo-Olu, who before now has been credited with responsible and energetic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has by this one act lost his credibility and integrity for many. He has a big task in regaining the confidence of the public and youths; his credibility gap surrounding what happened at the Lekki Toll Plaza is not helped by the insensitive bluster of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the governor’s residence stating that those who were injured and presumably those who died had questions to answer.”
Though the group condemned the destruction of public assets and looting that trailed the shootings at the Lekki tollgate, it said the mayhem pointed to the alienation of a large number of youths from society by government.
It said, “The so-called hoodlums are the youths that have been denied any stake in society by the self-dealing and state capture that have characterised governance over the last 30 years. Millions of our youths have been uneducated, unemployable and with no meaningful social safety net. Even for the millions who are educated and skilled, long-term unemployment has been their experience in the Nigerian prebendal political economy that serves primarily the interests of public office holders and their cronies.
“Some of the ‘hoodlums’ responsible for the trashing of Lagos are the youths and ‘the toughies’ that many politicians have over the years employed to subvert the democratic process through intimidation of voters and perpetration of violence during elections.”
The group said the organisers of the #EndSARS protests deserved commendation for the resourcefulness, transparency and accountability which they demonstrated.
The group condemned “the growing reports of compilation of names of the assumed leaders and facilitators of the protests for government reprisals.”
It said, “Those that are being targeted are reportedly being prevented from travelling outside Nigeria while accounts of some have been frozen. This is hardly the hallmark of a democratic government that is interested in dialoguing with the youths or learning positive lessons from the #EndSARS protests. It is also a violation of the spirit of government’s acceptance of the 5 for 5 agenda. The President should stop all these acts of witch-hunt.”
The FSD solicited support for the Lagos State Government to rebuild and replace the vandalised public assets.
⛔⛔⭐⭐⭐I NEARLY CRIED YESTERDAY WHEN I HEARD WHAT HAPPEN AT FEGGE POLICE STATION AND HOW THE YOUTH RESPONDED TO DPO RABIU GARBA⭐⭐⭐⛔⛔
A man who never put tribalism, religion or differences in his work…. True to his calling to serve our nation without influence of any politician. Not an Igbo man but he speaks Igbo in a way you will be mesmerized and full of laughter whenever he speaks.. He will tell you “Nwannah why disobeying the law?”
People say police is not your friend but in this man I disagree with that notion. In him, i immensely believe that police is a friend when you meet the good type…. The person I am talking about is my Honorable CSP. RABIU GARBA, the DPO of Fegge Police Station.
Yesterday the youth was rampaging looking for Police Station to burn down. When they troop to his Fegge Police Station with gallons of fuel and weapons, most of his men was grip with fear, Behold !, when he came out, the Chants of the angry youths Change from
” We no go agree oh we no go agree oh” to
“DPO Garba you be our friend,
DPO Garba You be our man”
He addressed then properly, lectured them all and changed their perspective towards embracing calmness.. If you know him well you will know he can lecture very well from every angles of courses, law to Biology , physics to Science, religion to culture, he is the master of all… We fondly call him Professor Rabiu, Onye Nkuzi. Tears nearly fall from my eyes, tears of Joy and appreciation of a good man still serving and existing in Police.
This is a Police man i have ever see who believe that hardworking pays. He is a police man and a Farmer as well. He is a Police man and a Civil Engineer. He is a Police man and a Lecturer as well…
To me, I am encouraging all police men and woman to emulate this Young man and learn from his Public relation skill. Because I strongly believe Public relationship should be practiced to serve the public interest, to develop mutual understanding between organizations, the neighborhood and their publics.
As a Psychologist, i have noticed that without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.”
DPO Rabiu Garba we all know was the man who single handedly build a Borehole water for the people of Fegge Where his station is situated without donations from the public. If i lie verify from anyone you know living in fegge.
He also Organized Sports event for the youth at fegge Stadium where he normally engaged them in Table Tenis playing competition after work.. He walks among all without gun, knife or tear gas because he does his work diligently without corruption. So no fear of the mob.
He attends many church events he is been invited for around onitsha which shows his sense of unity.
When police do bad we mock them when we see one doing good pls my brothers and sister let us encourage that one as to lift his or her spirit to do more because ndi ba anyi is na Etoo dike na nkem omeru omekwa ozo….
DPO Rabiu Garba anyi Oha nile. No wonder people once cried when you wanted to leave to another Station. How i wish we have thousands of police men and women like you, the Police institution would have been so harmonized…..keep up the good work. Good market sells itself in the market…
No wonder Odumeje cherish you so much.
Thank you once again for the way you handled the youth matter yesterday which resulted to zero casualties at Fegge District…
Honourable Ozoigbondu na Umuoji. ( Odoakpa ward 7 Youth Mobilizer and Organizer)
Pls read and Share to appreciate a good work.
EndSARS #uprising #Lekkitollgate #policebrutalityawareness #PoliceReform #anambra #onitsha #DPO #Ndigbo #hausa #yoruba #IgboAmaka #channelstv #AITLIVE #AriseNews #NTA #abcnews
Hoodlums Kill Ogun DCO, Burn A Police Station, Steal Arms, DPO Missing
Hoodlums Kill Ogun DCO, Burn A Police Station, Steal Arms, DPO Missing
Angry protesters on Wednesday killed the Divisional Crime Officer, DSP Augustine Ogbeche, and set ablaze a police station in the Atan-Ota Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State .
The protesters also inflicted injuries on the Divisional Police Officer, SP Sikiru Olugbenga, whose whereabouts were unknown.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
Oyeyemi said one civilian also lost his life to the violence while another police station at Obada-Oko in the Ewekoro Local Government Area, which had been serving as a zonal intervention office for the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad was attacked.
Oyeyemi said, “The hitherto peaceful protest embarked upon by youths across Ogun State is unfortunately taking a dangerous violent dimension as some people with ulterior motives are now using the opportunity to commit all sorts of heinous crimes.
“Early this (Wednesday) morning, the protesters went to Atan-Ota and set the police station there ablaze and subsequently murdered the DCO, DSP Augustine Ogbeche, in cold blood.
“A civilian also died in the process while some arms were carted away. They also inflicted serious injury on the DPO, SP Sikiru Olugbenga, whose whereabouts is yet unknown.
“Also in Abeokuta, some groups of boys attacked Obada-oko divisional headquarters and vandalized it.”
The PPRO however said in view of the attacks on the police and their stations, the Commissioner of Police Ogun State Command, Edward Ajogun, had appealed to the youths to eschew violence and embrace peace.
The police boss, according to the PPRO, said, “The youths are reminded that since the commencement of the protests the police have
“We even went ahead and released all the 36 suspects we arrested. However, if in the course of handling the protests anybody feels offended, we plead understanding and not retaliatory measures, including killing and maiming policemen and burning and damaging police stations.
“We will ensure that justice is served any aggrieved person. Please and please let us continue to embrace peace rather than violence.”
“The command sincerely appeals to the youths. Parents and guardians are also enjoined to help rein in their children and wards.”