Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Saturday said henceforth, any state where the kidnapping of youngsters takes place should pack up in protest against the act. Soyinka also advised that other neighboring states, as a matter of solidarity, should join the affected states to pack up.
The playwright spoke shortly after a gift lecture and performance of his new book, ‘Chronicles of the happiest people on Earth,’ in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The program was organized by the Association of Nigerian Authors, Ogun State chapter, together with the Abeokuta Club.
More than 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped on Friday in Zamfara, the newest of such attacks, while 27 students were also abducted in Kangara, Niger State, but released over every week later.
The octogenarian playwright, who lamented that the govt and security agencies had failed Nigerians, said he didn’t know what else to recommend as a panacea to the nation’s “abnormal times.” Soyinka added that such abductions were unacceptable and “drastic, meaningful measures” must be taken in unison.
He said, “I think we are reaching the purpose where, in any state, where any child is kidnapped, that state should pack up completely. And other states, in solidarity, should a minimum of pack up a number of their activities. It sounds extreme but, we don’t know what else one can propose at this particular time. Yes, life must continue but even those activities will generate and enhance our very existence.
“I think we’ve to require on a tonality of regrets, of the unacceptable, protestation and mobilization on whatever level it’s possible as a community of citizenry. ‘We shouldn’t await an enemy, faceless, airborne, unpredictable enemy like COVID to form us pack up. In protest and as a press release of the unacceptable, we are shutting ourselves down until this example is resolved.”
He added, “The abduction of our youngsters, when will it end, how will it end? I don’t think any folks can tell. But we must still stress and remind ourselves that, not only are these abnormal times, but it seems to be, to me anyway, times of the shirking of responsibility in very key areas. We cannot permit ourselves – we just cannot – continue during this fashion. Something drastic, meaningful has got to happen, and it’s to be collective.
“This is not any longer the responsibility of these at the highest who are alleged to be responsible of security, responsible of governance; they need clearly failed the populace. They’ve failed us. there’s no point in trying to reason it out, to seek out excuses, to get the blame. The important thing is that we are very on the brink of accepting a culture of the unacceptable.”