Soyinka Speaks On Biafra, Explains Why He Supports Buhari


Nigerian playwright, poet and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has laid bare his opinion concerning the agitation in the southeast. He stated that Biafra cannot be conquered, but explained why he chose Buhari as a better candidate in the presidential election over Goodluck Jonathan.

The professor made his opinion known while speaking at “Channels Book Club”, a program organized by Channels TV on Tuesday, December 8

On why he prefers Buhari to Jonathan, Professor Soyinka said had Nigerians allowed former president Goodluck Jonathan’s rule, Nigeria would not have survived four more years. He admitted that he originally had a bad impression of Buhari and even remembered that one time he described the president as a “devil for whom in my calculation, no spoon existed long enough to justify the risk even of an impromptu snack.”

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But during the general election, he measured the differences (pros and cons) between the two presidential candidates and made up his mind that the nation had a better chance under Buhari.

In the words of the professor:

We were left with two credible contestants in terms of catchment area for the nation. We had reached, in my view, the bottom. I became convinced that if this country underwent four more years under President Jonathan, the country would run aground completely. I looked at the record and said this cannot go on, this has to stop.

Then I looked at this man who had contested elections three times before and said he would not contest anymore and then decided to throw his hat in the ring. I talked to people and I said do you know what you’re doing?

And after weighing all the options, I said let’s try a new one. And since in electoral terms, he was the one, I guardedly, with reservations, announced that no, not a continuation under Jonathan.

And so very reluctantly, I want this on record, because I made it quite clear, I weighed the two of them and I said this nation stands a better chance under Buhari. And what has been coming out now? Look at all that has been coming out? Look at the figures (loot) which virtually hammer one into the ground just the sheer enormity of the robbery of this nation that is getting exposed progressively. It shows that we did not make a bad choice.

The playwright further admitted that he was not completely satisfied with Buhari’s performance in the last six months he had been in the office. He however noted that the president has shown there is such a thing as a born again democrat.

He also commented on the ongoing protests in the southeast, saying that Biafra will never be destroyed since it is an idea and ideas could not be killed. He stated that you could succeed in only destroying the people who carry an idea on war field but not the idea they carry and so on that account, the problem would not end absolutely.

“I remember I wrote an article during the war and I said at that time that Biafra cannot be defeated. People misunderstood what I was saying. I said once an idea has taken hold, you cannot destroy that idea. You may destroy the people that carry the idea on the battlefield, but, ultimately, it is not the end of the story,” he said.

The Sun reports, Soyinka advised the federal government to convene a new National Conference which would look into the feelings of pro-Biafran elements.

He concluded by saying;

So, let us sit down, let us talk once again about restructuring the nation in a way that no one will want to leave. The agitations, for me, are not surprising. It was expected that it would happen sooner or later.

So, I am referring to a genuine and authentic National Conference. Not like the one that former President Olusegun Obasanjo called which was meant to try to perpetuate himself in office.

The one under Jonathan was extensive; it covered lots and lots of ground. It proposed some far-reaching changes, not far-reaching for me, but far-reaching. It is about time we went back to efforts like that; genuine ones like that,”.

Well, Biafran Independence Movement claims the Biafra cause has drawn the attention of the United Nations. If this is true the possibility for the federal government to stop the actualization of the sovereign state is very slim.

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