We're heading towards civil war-Soyinka

2012-01-11
THE PUNCH Newspaper

NOBEL laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Tuesday warned that the country was heading towards a civil war caused by the political leaders.

“We see the nation heading towards a civil war,” Soyinka reportedly told the BBC World Service in an interview on the state of the nation.

Asked whether he agreed with President Goodluck Jonathan that the current unrest in the country was worse than the 1960s civil war, he said, “It’s not an unrealistic comparison — it’s certainly based on many similarities.”

Soyinka was also asked whether the unrest threatened the state of Nigeria itself, and replied, “It is going that way. We no longer can pretend it’s not.

“When you’ve got a situation where a bunch of people can go into a place of worship and open fire through the windows, you’ve reached a certain dismal watershed in the life of that nation.”

Soyinka said the issues raised by the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, which was blamed for violence targeting Christians in the and that has sparked fears of a wider religious conflict, had been brewing for some time.

The laureate said, “There are people in power in certain parts of the country, leaders, who quite genuinely and authoritatively hate and cannot tolerate any religion outside their own.

“Those who have created this faceless army have lost control.”

In a related development, the Senate resumed from its recess on Tuesday and raised the alarm over the inciting utterances resulting in the movements of Nigerians across the regions on the basis of faith and ethnicity.

Before it opened its doors for normal legislative business, the Senate had entered into a closed session where it considered and deliberated on the security situation in the country and the crisis resulting from the decision to remove subsidy on petrol.

The Senate at the closed-door meeting was briefed on the President’s declaration of emergency in some parts of the country.

Welcoming members back from the break, President of the Senate, David Mark, said the panic movements was an invitation to anarchy.

He said, “The current security challenge has reinforced the need to aggressively pursue economic development and simultaneously implement the war on terrorism. In this regard, let me caution against reckless utterances by some Nigerians that endanger our national unity.

“Statements that encourage people to move from one region to another on the basis of faith and ethnicity are unpatriotic. It portends danger to our corporate existence and a clear invitation to anarchy.”

 

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