Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has described former president Olusegun Obasanjo as cunning, rather than clever, calling him an opportunist adept at reading the mood of the country and aligning himself with the yearnings of the masses, in keeping with his messianic fixation.
He spoke on Thursday at the official launch of his Interventions VIII series, entitled: “Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? (Who keeps watch over the watchmen?), Gani’s Unfinished Business,” at Freedom Park, Lagos. The publication is a compilation of the lecture dedicated to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of Gani Fawehinmi SAN and serve as a reminder for concerned and patriotic Nigerians.
Lashing out at Obasanjo, the playwright stated that the former president was a hypocrite and a pretender who capitalised on every opportunity to make himself relevant in the affairs of the country.
He said, “Obasanjo isn’t a stupid man but reads the wind and move in. He is busy hijacking existing movements. And that is why I have warned many that have movement and that includes him, to be careful because he could hijack them.
‘’He frustrated June 12 and often put himself forward on any issue. He is welcome to reform and as his slogan maybe, the redemption process has started.”
Soyinka also said he could not remember the good things Obasanjo did for the periods he served as head of state and President.
“I don’t remember the good he has done. It will be very difficult to find one. I can’t remember one at this moment. There are many groups emerging with very good manifesto and it is a long time between now and next year. The field is widely open,” he said.
The Nobel laureate however said there were serious acts of mis-governance under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, and called for the election of new generation of leaders to overhaul the system.
While lamenting that the lives of Nigerians have become so cheap under President Muhammadu Buhari, he accused the administration of glossing over intolerable degrees of bloodshed as if in a casual event or happening by accident.
Noting that there were lots of unforced errors being committed by Buhari, Soyinka stated there was “also, failure to exact authority when and as at when due which led to the killings.”
He then stressed that it had become essential that “we all embark on ground clearing for new generation of leaders and to make sure that in the process, we don’t bring back what we are just getting out from. That is one of the stupid acts that we could be held responsible by the coming generation.”
The playwright pointed out that an opportunity still existed between now and 2019, as there should be reforms and total overturn, saying whatever it would take to secure the country to give the people new sense of dignity and humanity, should be done.”
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