Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has raised the alarm that “illegal, sinister and power-grabbers” are bent on scuttling the country’s current democratic process.
The power-grabbers, according to him, are the ones pushing for the imposition of interim government on the country.
He said during an interview with SaharaTV, a United States-based online broadcast station operated by SaharaReporters, that what he was sure of, was that President Goodluck Jonathan knew such people.
The 80-year-old playwright, who on Wednesday told a German radio station, Deutsche Welle, that he feared there were “clear indications of a military intervention,” said with the current political situation and the insurgency in the North-East, Nigeria was facing its most dangerous period.
He said in spite of the challenges, what bothered him most, was the plot by some people to take over the rein of the country illegally.
Soyinka said, “This is what bothers me deeply: There are people who see this as an opportunity for their own political and sinister activities in the country. Therefore, we are not even united against the dangerous enemy of the country. The elections themselves are being used as an opportunity of sowing bitter seed of discord and for power-grabbing.
“It is now an established fact that there had been moves towards scuttling the democratic process by instituting a so-called interim government. But the proof is there of some participants in meetings for the formation of an interim government. Why form an interim government when there is an electoral process?
The Nobel laureate stated that he spoke personally with the President to ascertain his involvement in the plot to foist an interim government on Nigerians.
“I went to President Jonathan and I asked him, and he was to all appearances outraged by the very suggestion. I remember he used an expression, ‘If such a thing is going on it is outside my wish or my will. After I have been elected by the entire nation, isn’t being the head of an interim government a demotion and an undignifying position?’” Soyinka said.
“Maybe there are forces in operation in this nation during this very critical period about which he knows of that is the answer which I could make and it is up to him to sort himself out in contending with these illegal forces,” the literary icon said.
Soyinka therefore called on Nigerians not to be complacent about the current political situation in the country.
He said, “I believe that these elections, going by his (Jonathan) body language… it is very difficult to penetrate truthfully and deeply into the minds of politicians… going by his body language, I think Jonathan has no intention of scuttling the elections.
“In other words, the elections would take place but what kind of elections would we have? And what might be the aftermath of the elections? He has repeatedly said, ‘I’m going back to Otuoke if I lose the election.’ I just hope we don’t wake up one day with our complacent attitude and find out that we, as a people, have been overthrown by very sinister, illegal and useless forces.”
He had told Deutsche Welle on Wednesday that “ex-military officers and security officers were trying to push aside the political contestants and use the unrest (in the North-East) as an excuse to establish an interim government.
Soyinka explained that “the nature of the interim government wants to pretend it’s not really a military intervention.”
He added that “a few political leaders, well-known civilians, want to give the veneer of civilian structure, but basically it’s a kind of political intervention.”
The Nobel laureate, who stated that Nigeria “is aspiring very hard to become a failed state,” also lamented the increasingly aggressive direction the election campaign in Nigeria was taking.
Soyinka told DW that while he doesn’t support the opposition’s move to file criminal charges against Mrs. Patience Jonathan at the International Criminal Court, her comments should be checked.