Soyinka Criticizes Federal Government Over Chibok Girls


Professor Wole Soyinka was present at the inauguration of Wole Soyinka Government High School in Ejigbo, Osun State yesterday.

Speaking at the inauguration of the N750m school named after him and constructed by Osun State Government in Ejigbo, the Nobel Laureate gave a cautionary advice against separating the pupils along religious lines by letting them put on uniforms that symbolize the religious group they belong to. He also encouraged all the leaders and everybody concerned to help bring up children in a way that they will respect one another’s religion.

In a frenzy of delight, Soyinka expressed gratitude and admiration to Aregbesola, for awarding him such great honor of naming the school after him and promised to visit the school often to check how things are going with it.

The school is the first in the mega schools series under the education reform agenda of the Rauf Aregbesola administration and it is a 3,000-capacity complex with 72 classrooms of 49 square-metre, each capable catering to 49 pupils. It has six offices for study groups and is equipped with six laboratories, 18 toilets for girls and 18 for boys, one science library, one arts library, facility manager’s office, a bookshop and a sick bay

Besides complaining about the pupils who wear school uniforms that show the religion they belong to in Nigeria during the inauguration, he further noted that is a big shame that the government up till now can’t say for sure the whereabouts of the two hundred girls captured by the Boko Haram Islamist terror group. Soyinka criticized FG for failing in the rescue operation supposed to save the girls. According to him;

It is a shame that the nation cannot account for over 200 girls in Chibok. I sympathise with the religious policy of governments in school; children must not be brought up feeling that religion inhibits knowledge. In schools, we need not distinguish our children, the fatalistic religious holiness and the holier-than-thou attitude must be reduced among our pupils.”

He added that the feeling of holier-than-thou was one of the factors that brought about the abduction of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram insurgents. He said:

“One of the ways we can reduce this fatalistic sense of holiness is to reduce the element of difference. I wish to implore that we do not distinguish our children by their religions. 

One of the founding fathers of the Human Rights crusade who built their struggle on the principles of equity and fairness was present at the great ceremony along with other dignitaries worthy of note who included Chief of Staff to the Governor Gboyega Oyetola; Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf; member House of Representatives, Mojeed Alabi; House of Assembly Speaker Najeem Salaam and Chief Judge Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo.

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