Nigeria is in shock. Professor Wole Soyinka, the famous Nigerian playwright, novelist, poet, and essayist in the English language is in shock too. This is not a small thing. Wole Soyinka was born into a Yoruba family in Abeokuta, nowadays the state capital of Ogun State in southwest Nigeria. The now 87-year old Wole Soyinka was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature, the first sub-Saharan African to be honored in that category.
Read below what this famous Nigerian has to tell, how he feels about his government, the state of the nation, in particular the widespread and at random killing for ritual purposes: ‘money rituals’.
I have nothing to add (FVDK).
Wole Soyinka: State of the Nation: I have been under shock over kidnappings, ritual killings
Published: March 25, 2022
By: The Citizen, Nigeria
Nigerian playwright, Professor Wole Soyinka said that he has been under a state of shock for the kidnapping of Nigerian students and also described the state of the country as an unconcerned attitude of people and deliberation of the government.
Soyinka said this at a lecture, titled; ‘The Politics of Black Intellection and Creativity, at the University of Pennsylvania, United States on Tuesday.
The poet was asked some questions about the rate of banditry, kidnappings of Nigerian Students, and the current situation in Nigeria by Prof. Wale Adebamwi of the Department of African Studies, University of Pennsylvania.
Also speaking, Prof. Adebamwi said the people and the government have not given enough on the current challenges and he blamed both for the quagmire.
Soyinka said, “I have been under a state of shock for a couple of decades. So it was time I took my revenge and hopefully shock our people just for exchange.”
Soyinka also criticized the protests in Ile Ife about the appointment of the newly Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Adebayo Bamire who is not an indigene of the town.
In his words, he urged the government to deal with the people behind the protest at OAU and also stated that he never thought of what is happening in Nigeria.
“Things have been happening I never thought I would witness. Take for instance the kidnapping of those children under the guise of religion. More than 300 school pupils were kidnapped from a school, where we put them there to take their examination, going about our business, raise their school fees and they disappeared completely.
“People saw them going. They saw them being kidnapped. The lackadaisical response of the government at the time was a shocker. But it wasn’t just Boko Haram alone. It isn’t just ISWAP (Islamic State in West Africa Province, a splinter of Boko Haram – webmaster FVDK). It is what has been happening just among the generality of people – killing for ritual purposes.
He said, “you wake up, somebody has disappeared, the body is found, the vital organs removed. People kidnapping for ransom every day. Pick up the papers. This has been going on for decades. So, It’s been going on for a very long time. And we are pretending that this is not happening.” (italics mine – webmaster FVDK)
”I stated one time that anytime anybody is kidnapped in any state, let us shut down that state immediately until that person is recovered. It has reached that point that abnormal measures are imperative. It is no longer a choice. And yet the government continues to roll on.
He also asked that “what exactly is ideology all about? It is about humans. The human is at the basis of all ideologies. So this has been going on for a long time. It is overwhelmingly making one feel impotent useless, staining what one thinks one has been able to achieve in terms of contribution to humanity
“We have now to tackle that painful question: What is human? Somebody capable of taking another being, slaughtering that person because you want to make money, whatever the circumstances are. Is that human? (italics mine – webmaster FVDK)
“Let’s consider those who brutalize children, those who take children and sell them into slavery, which is what Boko Haram, ISWAP, and the others have been doing. Are these human? Isn’t it about time we taught all those souls about the human race?
“We better start investigating thoroughly that question: Just what is human? Once upon a time of course people tried to define it along with race, color, religion, gender, etc. No. Now we must really get down to basics and then when we have a sort of lowest common denominator of what constitutes humanity, we must be brave enough to know how to deal with those I have so identified If they are in a position of power,” Soyinka said.