Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Saturday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to seek support and avoid playing with Nigerians’ lives.
In a speech titled “The Relentless Martyrdom of Youth,” the playwright made the decision.
He was responding to the killing of three Greenfield University students in Kaduna by armed bandits on Friday.
Soyinka had previously chastised the Buhari administration for its handling of Nigeria’s security issues, especially the activities of cattle prowlers in many parts of the country, earlier this year.
“Abukakar Atiku has summed up the nation’s feelings – this most recent savagery toward our youth is heartbreaking,” the statement read. However, millions of individual hearts that still lay claim to ties in shared humanity are broken, not just the heart.
“The already strained moral restraint sinews have snapped off the casing of nation being, leaving nothing but collective wails of impotence.
“Not for the first time, what many thought would be a Natural Law of Limitations has been defiantly, contemptuously violated. We must be reminded of the heinous precedents that have preceded us. Chibok must be remembered.
Dapchi, too. And a slew of antecedents and sequels that went unnoticed or were quickly consigned to the abyss of collective amnesia. Impunity’s salaries never diminish; on the contrary, they expand.
“With this new act of cowardly savagery, one’s greatest fear is that Nigeria will be forced to prepare for a Beslan-style scenario while still attempting to avoid becoming Africa’s Chechnya. Many who have been shown to be vulnerable and incompetent must learn to swallow their arrogance and seek assistance.
“Again, this is no new counseling, but of course the dog that will get lost no longer heeds the hunter’s whistle. I envy no one the task ahead, terminating the toxic harvest of past derelictions. Blame laying is for later. Right now is the question of – what needs to be done, and done urgently.
“We keep avoiding the inevitable, but that very unthinkable now hammers brutishly on our gates, the blood ransom arrogantly insatiable. This nation is at war, yet we continue to pretend that these are mere birth-pangs of a glorious entity.
“They are death throes. Vultures and undertakers hover patiently but with full confidence.
“The dogs of war stopped merely baying years ago. Again and again they have sunk their fangs into the jugular of this nation.
“The plague called COVID-19 has met its match on the earth of some nation space once known as Nigeria. I grieve with the bereaved, but mourn even more for our youth so routinely sacrificed, burdened with uncertainty and traumatized beyond youth’s capacity to cope.
“To this government we repeat the public cry: Seek Help. Stop Improvising with human lives. Youth-that is, the future – should not serve as Ritual Offering on the altar of a failing State.”