Group carpets Soyinka for ‘supporting Buhari, attacking Obasanjo’

A pro-democracy group, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and
Constitution, CDNDC, has slammed Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka,
for subtly supporting President Muhammadu Buhari and attacking former
president Olusegun Obasanjo.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by Dare Ariyo-Atoye, the convener
of CDNDC, the group asked Nigerians to be wary of the Nobel laureate,
alleging that Soyinka has "sacrificed his hard-earned reputation and
honour" to sustain a despot in power.

Recall that Soyinka had attacked an unnamed former president at a
symposium on fake news organised by BBC News in Abuja.

Soyinka had said at the symposium, "We have got to develop a very
healthy scepticism. If someone in a position of power for eight years
has lectured a nation for eight years and after that continued year
after year to continue to direct the minds of a whole nation in one
direction only saying 'this is Lucifer from hell' for eight years in
office and several more years out of office saying this is Lucifer and
then one day he changed his left hand and says behold your redeemer,
which of the two is fake news?"

Though the Nobel laureate did not expressly mention the name of the
ex-President he was referring to, discerning Nigerians are quick to
figure out that only Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo has successfully served as
President for eight years since 1999 till date.

Atoye said, "If the professor had been referring to a certain person
for eight years as a 'partner-in-crime' and in 2015, he claimed he
made the gravest mistake of supporting a dictator, then for Soyinka's
continuous support of that same despotic regime, there is a reason for
Nigerians to express some doubt over what he stood for decades ago."

CDNDC quoted Soyinka to have said in 2007: "The grounds on which
General (Muhammadu) Buhari is being promoted as the alternative choice
are not only shaky, but pitifully naive.

"History matters. Records are not kept simply to assist the weakness
of memory, but to operate as guides to the future. Of course, we know
that human beings change.

"What the claims of personality change or transformation impose on us
is a rigorous inspection of the evidence, not wishful speculation or
behind-the-scenes assurances.

"Public offence, crimes against a polity, must be answered in the
public space, not in caucuses of bargaining.

"In Buhari, we have been offered no evidence of the sheerest prospect
of change. On the contrary, all evidence suggests that this is one
individual who remains convinced that this is one ex-ruler that the
nation cannot call to order."

CDNDC said there was no reason to justify the support the Nobel
laureate had been allegedly rendering to Buhari since 2015.

It said, "Every Nigerian should find time to read The Crimes of Buhari
by Wole Soyinka, published in 2007; and make a simple judgment whether
the Professor was right in sacrificing his democratic credentials and
reputation to support and sustain Buhari in power.

"Deji Adeyanju has been illegally detained in Kano prison by the
Buhari-Osinbajo despotic regime for about a month now; Sambo Dasuki is
a political prisoner held against court orders; Sheikh (Ibrahim)
el-Zakzaky is a prisoner of conscience.

"The vampiric shrine of Buhari's government is soaked with the blood
of innocent Nigerians; human rights and press freedom abuses are rife,
while the entire country is sliding into hopelessness.

"If Professor Wole Soyinka cannot support or offer us any knowledge on
how to get out of this mess, we are of the opinion that he should not
distract us or those who are trying to help the country to get out of
the 2015 quagmire he helped drive us into."

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