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Soyinka flays Buhari for failing to speak on insecurity

By Victor Gbonegun
15 December 2020   |   4:07 am
NOBEL Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday, decried President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to honour invitation by the National Assembly to address the nation on what government was doing to contain the worsening insecurity, saying the Nigerian leader still behaved like he “is not in charge”

Wole Soyinka

Says Nigeria at war with itself

NOBEL Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday, decried President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to honour invitation by the National Assembly to address the nation on what government was doing to contain the worsening insecurity, saying the Nigerian leader still behaved like he “is not in charge”

The playwright, in a piece titled, “INFRADIG – A Presidential Comeuppance”, flayed the President’s response to the polite summons to “rub minds urgently over a people’s security anxieties as one who still struggled to preserve the tattered remains of his ‘Born-Again’ democratic camouflage.”

According to him, Buhari’s reversal of consent raised yet again the frightening situation report he has fervently posed as to whether he is in charge.

He observed that the government “refuses to accept that, as indicated several times over, that the nation is at war.”

The war, Soyinka noted, is within itself, adding that it required drastic measures, away from spasmodic responses, after the “dread deed.” The Nobel Laureate went on: “If there is any will left over to salvage what is left of nationhood, the appropriate expression here is ‘thinking outside the box’. When others do, they deserve better than to be rewarded with banalities such as: The government will not be stampeded. The presidency will not be blackmailed. Stop politicising the issue. The president is committed to preserving the integrity of the nation. We will not be bullied into abandoning our commitment to national unity. The sovereignty of the nation is non-negotiable…. and so on and on, ad nauseam. Whoever is, that segment of the cabalistic control obviously cornered him on the way to the lawmakers’ chambers and urged: Don’t! Their invitation is infradig! He succumbed.”

In his usual literary analysis, he said: “Infradig – Once, the word featured prominently in the repertory of Nigerian shorthand diction. Indeed, I grew up thinking that it was only one word, not two, and assumed also that it was English, not Latin: infra dignitatem! I joined others in applying the shorthand to any situation where I felt that my dignity was assailed, that a chore was beneath my status, an individual beneath notice or a statement unworthy of response. Sometimes of course, it came useful when one could not think of an adequate response. Then, carrying myself as I had seen others do, I hissed, shook my head in disdain, and walked away as I spat out the ultimate sanction: Infradig!”.