Professor Wole Soyinka, has condemned the ineptitude of the Nigerian Army in combating the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging some parts of the country, saying the battle must be taken to the extremists.
At the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Book Capital, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Wednesday, Soyinka said government must be proactive and resourceful in the fight against the insurgents.
In his keynote speech, entitled “Republic of the Mind and the Cauldron of Fear,”
He said, “We must take the battle to the extremists. An army that sits in the barracks in the face of enemy attack is no army at all but a sitting duck,”.
The Nobel Laureate, who also condemned the abduction of over 200 female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, allegedly by members of the Boko Haram sect, said it was time to put an end to the menace.
He noted that Boko Haram did not articulate the views of Nigerian Muslims by rejecting knowledge, adding that “true Muslims regard themselves as people of the book, as evident in the ancient manuscripts preserved in Timbuktu, Mali.
“We must take the battle to the enemy, as it extends beyond the physical to the battlefield of the mind where it began and where it will be concluded.”
He said Nigeria was currently undergoing an affliction many would not have imagined decades ago, adding that the President Goodluck Jonathan administration had to do more in tackling the problem of insecurity.
Soyinka said rather than expending his energy on the “Bring Back the Book” initiative launched some years ago, President Jonathan should concentrate on bringing back the girls.
“Today, we will not be so demanding as to ask for the resurrection of the book, but the urgent commitment of bringing back the schoolgirls,” he said.
Additional content credit: Tribune