Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Sunday declared that the problems of the country have overwhelmed President Muhammadu Buhari.
He equally stated that the problems cannot be solved by the present administration in the country, noting that the failure of President Buhari to find solutions to the problems of herdsmen has wiped away the meaningful achievements his administration has recorded.
He added that the carelessness and negligence of the Buhari’s administration has led to the death of many Nigerians.
Soyinka, however, urged the president to call for a national dialogue among all the people across party lines to engage in partisan government that would benefit the general public.
He spoke at his residence in Ijegba Quarters, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, while hosting 85 pupils drawn from all the six-geopolitical zones of the country to mark his 85 birthday.
While responding to the pupils’ questions on issues during an interactive session at his private Amphitheatre, the playwright said, “look at what is happening today, how is it possible for me to say for instance that I am pro of this government; it is been negligent, look at what is happening with the cattle all over the place. That is a security issue which should never have reached this level.
“I am sure that carelessness – that single act has resulted in hundreds of people been killed in massacre, in their farms and their farms taken over; it has wiped away a lot of the positive achievements of the government.
“It is an issue that is so serious and which concerns the welfare of you and me that any carelessness or any failure there is, is totally unforgivable and unpardonable.
“It is not that one likes to criticise for the sake of criticising, No!. It is just that we believe that there is a minimal level which any government which has been elected to power must achieve to be considered a true representative of the people.
“The problems of the country have overwhelmed President Muhammadu Buhari and the problems cannot be solved by the present administration in the country.
“If you agree first of all that, the problems of this nation are completely beyond it, that is the first admission. And we should start thinking in terms of partisan government; it is going to form in my view, a government called across-political parties and needs to forget their allegiances and really comfort this nation as a habitation of human beings for very serious issues like economic, health, security, etc.
“The ingredients that threaten successive governments are being experienced everyday. The president should convoke what I call an indaba across all sections which will all meet and debate everyday including the economy of this nation. I think that is best way to go. I believe very frankly that the problems of this nation are beyond the solution that can be offered by this government,” Soyinka said.
Speaking further on his opinion about governance in Nigeria, Soyinka said: “Governance is a very difficult occupation; Nigeria is a very complex nation for a lot of reasons: its history, the background, the formation of it, the complexity, the culture, balancing here and there and then, you have several complications like fuel, among others”.
He added “politicians that money has gone into their heads, misdirect themselves in terms of priority, they neglect some sections, some of them are nepotistic and some of them alienated themselves from the public which is the people they are supposed to serve and govern and they think they are still colonial masters, especially, when we went through the military period.”