Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Monday, in Lagos, expressed disgust with emerging debates on re-election by some politicians in the country.
Some northern governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress and some allies of President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday backed the President for a second term. Nasir El-rufai was the first and most prominent to insist on a return of the President ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria.
The declaration came on the heels of the open declaration of support of the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan for the presidential bid of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who the minister declared as “our president in 2019”.
But the renowned playwright is not amused by the debates going on in the country on the political permutations ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Soyinka noted that the current administration had barely gone halfway, wondering why people were already planning to fill political positions.
The Nobel laureate spoke with some journalists after a press briefing to unveil the second batch of students departing Nigeria for Lebanon on Tuesday for the Study Abroad In Lebanon programme by The Cedars Institute, Lebanon, in collaboration with The Wole Soyinka Foundation.
When asked a question on the current debate about a second term for Buhari and if he would endorse the President for a second term, Soyinka stated, “Why are we talking about second term for heaven’s sake? I don’t understand this. I refuse to be part of that discussion. I absolutely refuse to be part of the discussion.’’
On performance of the current administration, the revered writer said there were “yawning gaps”, noting that an average Nigerian was now less secure than he was few years ago.
He said, “Take simple security for instance. The average citizen feels less secure now than he did a few years ago; that is evident. When people talk about state police, there are reasons for it. When they talk about bringing policing right down to the community level, they know what they are talking about. This is also part and parcel of reconstruction or reconfiguration.
“The economy, there is a big question about it right now. Fortunately, everybody admits that we went through a very bad patch. Right now, it is a question of have we come out of it or not or there is no question at all.
“The past few years have been years of real internal economic disaster for the average citizen.’’