Recently, Wole Soyinka has been credited with stating in a speech or article titled “Where Did We Go Wrong?” stating a list of the very youthful ages of the Nigerian leaders and pioneers in the immediate post-colonial era. The wordings then goes on to adore the colonial youth of as men of vision and ability. I very strongly doubt that Wole Soyinka either said such a thing in public or wrote it. If he did, he must have gravely overlooked the realities and context that produced the very youthful leaders and pioneers of Nigeria’s past, which he is one. Nigeria’s youthful leaders, therein hailed, have left the country an insuperable legacy of misgovernance, corruption, polarisation and disaster. What is the fuss about Nigeria’s bungling first leaders? Nigeria produced youthful leaders in Nigeria for regrettable reasons, with truly pitiable consequences.
Namadi Sambo is yet another victim of Wole Soyinka’s and the Pyrates Confraternity’s mischief. As an ambitious and bright student, in 1974 Sambo as an architecture undergraduate at Ahmadu Bello University (Nigeria) chose to join the Pyrates Confraternity. Namadi Sambo later became Governor of Kaduna State and subsequently the 13th Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We must understand that Islamic Northern Nigerians, particularly of the Hausa-Fulani stock rarely ever join University Campus Grown Fraternities (UCGF) since their ethos goes against the everyday sensibilities of Islam. Sambo’s (and others) interest as a Hausa-Fulani to join the Pyrates Confraternity seemed like a breakthrough in expanding the network of membership among Northerners. Nigeria is lucky today to have him alive considering the consequences of his initiation into the Pyrates Confraternity.
Usani Uguru Usani is another example of the protean victim Wole Soyinka, and the Pyrates Confraternity create. Again, in the late 1990s, Usani was made a commissioner in the cabinet of three governors from 1995 to 1999 holding various portfolios in Cross Rivers State. He was then seen as a future governor the state and today he is currently Minister of State for Niger Delta in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. However, if the Pyrates Confraternity had their way, his political career would have ended a long time ago.
Ben Oguntuase is a prime example of being a systematic victim of the mischief of Wole Soyinka and the Pyrates Confraternity. A very bright and energetic graduate of petroleum engineering from the Universities of Ibadan (Nigeria) and Louisiana (USA), Big Ben as he was often called, quickly rose through the ranks of National Oil plc (an oil marketing concern). And was a star in the corporate class of Nigeria. By the late 1990s, he had become the Capoon of the Pyrates Confraternity (a.k.a. National Association of Seadogs International). One thing he tried to achieve as the Pyrates Capoon was to eliminate the heinous and proliferating incidences of University Campus Grown Fraternities’ (UCGF) violence causing death, mayhem and ruin to the lives of so many young higher education students across the country. It was a great national concern of the day which persists. As noble as this quest of Ben Oguntuase was, it cost him his brilliant career at the singular order of Wole Soyinka.
Wole Soyinka and his “goons”, as the man affectionately calls them, are the “Bad Brothers” and the Pyrates Confraternity is the “Bad Brotherhood”. It is only the long staggering history of theft, manipulation, racketeering, corruption, abuse, brutality, slavery and many inhumane practices that unambiguously establish the justification and evidence of the descriptor “Bad”.
The physical and psychological victims of this very “Badness” run into the thousands but have no voice and fear a vicious myriad of accusations, smears and violence if they speak out. There are the survivors too. But most of them have cut their losses with the Confraternity even in their daily thoughts. Hundreds of men blindly every year join the association, not knowing the realities within. Such men with high expectations of personal advancement but end up with one invariable outcome (cf. the road to Europe via Libya). Many within the Confraternity are still suffering as victims. And these members held captive, only cope through mutual [imposed] mechanisms of sheer learned helplessness and stupefaction; alcohol and song provide much solace. The adopted but subtle indoctrination associated with aggressively absorbent cults around the world is well-documented. These are in evidence in every prescribed action and thought of the Confraternity.
Comment: Over the past six years I have written several articles about the wrongs and decadence of University Campus Grown Fraternities (UCGF) (some deleted) with insider knowledge. I more recently even developed two essay series out of them, namely, Fraternities are Viruses in Nigeria and The Leadership of a Bad Brother (both which do not names persons or fraternities) with another series in making that does mention names. A major international media house and a documentary filmmaker have even contacted me for my expertise on the matter. However, over a decade before me, Omoleye Sowore (in 2002) had written one of the most important articles on the source problem of cults (UCGF) in Nigeria and its possible remedies. I am sure many readers will agree.
Sowore writes: “It takes a lot of gut to disagree with someone of Professor Soyinka’s standing in the world. In almost every sense he has used his courage, expertise, connections and skills to intervene on behalf of Nigeria to obtain freedom from terror, democracy and respect for human rights, it is common knowledge that he has done very well and I mean excellently well in his capacity as a literary giant, activist, Nobel laureate and Pan Africanist. Continue reading
Wole Soyinka is forgiving and commuting personally designed punitive sanctions once again and in the most “magnanimous” and “solemn” of ways. Wole Soyinka is a great man. Soyinka is neither God Almighty, a spiritual leader (except within the National Association of Seadogs a.k.a. Pyrates Confraternity), a president, a jurist, nor an organised crime boss. Where the authority for Soyinka pronouncing “Fatwas of Forgiveness” upon great and small men originates from is a disturbing curiosity countless people share. The new round of forgiveness from Soyinka has been triggered by the mourning of his long-time friend and confidante, the very excellent and honourable person of lawyer Deji Sasegbon, SAN (Deceased).
When the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari announced an increase in fuel price, from N87 to N145 litre of petrol, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, did what Comrade Adams Oshiomhole would have unfailingly done in the same position. Call for a “people’s strike/protest” as a means of curtailing “excessive profiteering” favoured by capitalists and free marketeers in the country and make life fairer for the common man. Oshiomhole as NLC president had vehemently and publicly rejected the notions; (a) striking workers shall not be paid work-related incomes and (b) courts do not have a right to enforce judgments that can criminalise a strike/protest action.
“Captain Blood” is the “internal name” of the Wole Soyinka, co-founder and spiritual head, of the Pyrates Confraternity (PC) also known as the National Association of Seadogs (NAS). Soyinka is more affectionately addressed internally as “Capoon Blood” or “CB” (its abbreviation), a name which also well known to the general public. The PC is the internal representation of the organisation and NAS is the public perception creating some interesting bifurcations within. What is most unusual about the name Capoon Blood is its obscure origins. Continue reading
Pepper Rest: O Boy, I just love intelligent men. The kind intelligence I don start to regard the most na the one when a man go dey use thieves to take get whatever he want for life without having to steal himself.
Yankius: If na Buhari matter you wan take start this evening na nasty violence you dey find be that O! You hear me me so!
Pepper Rest: Shoo! No be President Buhari I been dey refer to O! Na gist of Wole Soyinka naim I be wan gave you.
Yankius: Madam give Pepper two big Orijin and one full nkwobi on my account. Sorry, Pepper as you were saying…
All Guys Dey
The bickering between Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka and ex-President Gen Olusegun Obasanjo (Rtd) continues. Sometimes simmering sometimes crackling it will never stop. There is no love lost between the two men. Obasanjo is the hedgehog and Soyinka is the fox if one uses Isaiah Berlin’s understanding of great characters. However, the bickering in question is over the contents of the memoir “My Watch” by Obasanjo which has seen Soyinka caught out with a hat trick; Obasanjo 3 Soyinka 0!
Djomuu! Continue reading
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.
Wole Soyinka is famed for winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986 based on his significant contributions to poetry and drama. Though his award was highly controversial and the Nobel Committee’s ‘choice’ felbious, Soyinka won the prize anyway, deservedly. He was the first African to win the prize. There are very few urban Nigerians that do not know who Wole Soyinka is; he is a living legend. Continue reading
After innumerable citizens indigenous to Lagos and the South-West region in Nigeria roundly criticised traditional ruler Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos, for his unfortunate ‘warning to the Igbos’, one should be impressed that there is hope in Nigeria even though not immediately convincing. The warning the Oba meted bordered on vicious tribalism and tribal cleansing. It provided an opportunity to witness social and political maturity and sensibility in the entire South West that is alive, sensitive and robust. Wole Soyinka, a South Westerner himself, and Nigeria’s most influential intellectual cum human rights activist – did not say a word.
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.
Today is the 80th birthday of Wole Soyinka. I may not be a fan of his but his work and achievements have their own stories.
Written in 1962, the play The Lion and The Jewel is probably Soyinka’s simplest and least-known work but it will perhaps turn out to be his most enduring due to its evolving contemporary relevance. It is also one of the outstanding works from post-colonial literature to come out of Nigeria, if not the entire Commonwealth.
It is a play about two men, Lakunle and Baroka, both vying for the hand in marriage of a village belle, Sidi. Lakunle a school teacher represents what Peter Palmer Ekeh calls a ‘good citizen’ i.e. one who rejects the traditional ways and embraces civic responsibility by way of adherence to modern colonial sensibilities and morality. Baroka the village Bale (leader) represents the ‘lucky citizen’ one who eschews colonial modernity and personifies the primordial character of Nigerian society i.e. the “Nigerian Way”. Sidi is a young virgin who is virtually unaware of the deeper tensions of the traditional primordial and modern colonial forces contending over her; her destiny is to either become a good or lucky citizen depending on who marries her. The good citizen conscientiously by moral constraints puts more into society than he or she receives from it, while the lucky citizen is a spontaneous maximiser who exploits society for what its worth. In the end, Baroka wins Sidi to his side. He deflowers her by deception, claiming he is impotent making Sidi drop her guard then demonstrates his full potency by taking her unawares. The man who takes her virginity becomes her husband. Continue reading