Young, obscure student leaders initially led the best chance of a revolution Nigeria had at the University of Benin campus in May 1989. These young leaders staged a protest that became famously known as the “Anti-SAP Riots”. This protest-turned-riot, spilt into Benin-City and rapidly to other cities in Nigeria including Lagos, Port Harcourt and Ibadan. The masses were firmly behind the student protesters. The people bought the persuasive message of the obscene leadership corruption and thoroughgoing military repression. However, it was the rejection of neoliberalism that was mercilessly impoverishing the majority of Nigerians that spurred the citizenry. The people and the student protest were one people with a united aim. The guns of the repressive military regime no longer frightened the masses; they had nothing left to lose.
When it comes to attacking and witch-hunting the defenceless, or the underestimated, President Muhammadu Buhari has a heart larger than Zuma Rock – his machismo is unlimited; when it comes to dealing with major players in the Nigerian economy Buhari’s timidity is fantastic. In his anti-corruption campaign, Buhari has focused purely on the refund of stolen and the freezing of economic activity, causing much suffering and hunger in the land. Still, he dare not go against the oil companies that have raped Nigeria for what it is worth for over half a century. It takes more than average testicular fortitude to deal with such concerns and losses.
In a most unspectacular reinvention “moment”, Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has publicly declared not only his “forgiveness” but the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari. He has affectional called Buhari a “born again” and a “new phenomenon”. Every man has a right to change his mind, especially in the light of new evidence or expectations or access/protection of special personal interests. Interestingly, Soyinka has changed as much as he claims Buhari has in real terms over the years in whatever direction he has chosen – they are countless.
In a very revealing and dramatic recent Guardian interview conducted by correspondent David Smith http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/29/wole-soyinka-interview-nigeria-corruption-goodluck-jonathan, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka lamented the process of the ongoing Nigerian general elections tainted by desperation, violence and corruption. He even tried to personify Mandela in his forgiveness of Buhari.
And yes, it’s Official! Soyinka claims to have forgiven General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) who he for decades characterised as being the former “head” of a crapious, inhumane, punitive, abusive, oppressive and repressive military regime.
I must confess I have been keenly waiting for the next Wole Soyinka “moment” no matter how long it would take and it has arrived much earlier than expected under terms that most would not have easily imagined. No one said, “the Man” was not a genuine enigma. Soyinka has clearly stated that he will not vote for President Goodluck Jonathan (of the People’s Democratic Party) in the 2015 elections just around the corner and advocates that no right-thinking Nigerian should vote the incumbent in for another term.
Wole Soyinka is not only a genius but also indeed an enigma even to the most discerning of minds. What is certain is that he has chosen in the course his entire career to be “the man on the moment”. Sometimes such quests for championing ‘moments’ entails considerable inconsistency and reversal in what one believes in or affirms. Let us start with the Wole Soyinka Annual Lecture (WSAL) series instituted to honour the life, times and works of the man.
The United State of America is the chief exporter of “globalisation democracy” that has seen nations around the globe both encouraged and bullied into taking on two incompatible dictates of governance policy; representative democracy and neoliberalism. Read More “Nigeria: Globalisation Democracy and the Possibility of a Coup d’etat”