by Deji Abiodun
Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, on Saturday, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to lift the military siege on Nigeria’s opposition party leaders following accusations that the federal government is using the military and police to threaten the opposition.
He disclosed this in a statement released on Saturday.
Soyinka made reference to the stoning of Jonathan’s convoy after a presidential campaign rally in Yola, Adamawa state stating that he does not support violence of any kind. “For the avoidance of all doubt, let it be clearly stated that I am against political violence from any direction and for whatever reason. I especially deplore the stoning of President Jonathan’s campaign convoy. I go even further: I caution those who were responsible that if the assigned protection corps for this nation’s president overreact and respond with bullets, no one should scream violation of their fundamental human rights,” Soyinka said.
He stated that stoning the president is a violation of his human right and also dangerous. “Intending suicides are advised to find other and legitimate means of assuaging their frustrations. The same goes for every level of campaign convoy, visitation, or gathering – be they at governorship, local government, senatorial or whatever level,” he added.
Soyinka cautioned uniformed men against playing partisan politics. “So as not to miss the point, let me also remind impetuous slingshot Davids that Goliath Mbu is the latest kid in town, fresh from his triumph in taming governors all over the nation, and reveling in his new elevation for jobs well done. The signs multiply from direct acts of impunity to the abuse of the uniformed forces through co-option, such as are being revealed through exposed recordings, shaming a nation through the complicity of both the elected, and the supposedly professional forces of law, order and public security. This is a new low in the life of this nation, and a grave portent for the future of democracy. It bodes ill even for the postponed elections. Is the postponement truly to ensure enfranchisement for the entire electorate? Or to fine-tune a new strategy for the absolute and total cooption of the uniformed services? We insist that the presidential convoy must pass unmolested. We must also insist that a procession of the meanest citizens in this nation be allowed freedom of movement. President Jonathan, it is not too late: LIFT THE SIEGE!” he urged.