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Obasanjo not qualified to lead new movement for change, says Soyinka

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Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has advised Nigerians not to be carried away by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s movement to save the country from corrupt politicians.

He also noted that though President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has not fared better, Obasanjo was only after his own gains to rescue the country.

Soyinka stated this yesterday at the formal unveiling of his latest Interventions Series, Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?: Gani’s Unfinished Business held at the Freedom Park (Kongi Art Gallery), Broad Street, Lagos Island.

He said the former president is unfit to lead a mission to rescue Nigeria and restore the nation to sanity in view of the various atrocities he committed during his reign as the number one citizen of the nation.

Soyinka said he did not have issues with his criticism or even condemnation of the present administration, as he has every legitimate right to do so, but was against his attempt “to exonerate himself from the disaster” for which he is much culpable.

The Nobel laureate, who equally dared Obasanjo to confront him one-on-one on any podium to present facts of his stewardship in the area of power generation in the country, said: “I was very involved in Bola Ige’s stint as the Minister of Power.

And after Ige died, Obasanjo claimed that the deceased never knew his left from his right. I found that statement unforgivable.

“He owes him for maligning him and sabotaging his genuine and structured efforts to transform the power sector of the country. I was here when Ige moved his office to Lagos to solve the power problem of Nigeria.

“He deliberately sabotaged the efforts of the late minister.

Before Ige took office, he summoned a group of experts and mapped out strategy to transform the power sector.

But he was sabotaged from the inside because he begged me to persuade Obasanjo to remove Sulaimon Bello from office.

This was the man he believed was used to sabotage his efforts. And the consequence we are still suffering today.”

It was a hard-hitting, interactive and engaging session with Kunle Ajibade, a renowned journalist, editor, publisher, The News/PM News and author of Jailed for Life: A Reporter’s Prison Notes; Sam Omatseye, Chairman, Editorial Board of The Nation newspaper and Femi Falana (SAN), a lawyer and human rights activist, engaging Soyinka as interlocutors in the book.

Falana also urged Plateau, Taraba, Zamfara, Benue and Nasarawa states to begin prosecution of the over 200 people arrested for suspected murder in the recent herdsmen’s killing in the country.

He said: “It is the duty of the attorney-generals of those states to bring suspects to court.

They should liaise with the police and army to take over prosecution without further delay.”


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