Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has expressed his fears for Nigeria ahead the epic elections and his grouse against the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

In an exclusive interview with German Radio DW, the literary icon explained that Jonathan’s slow and tepid response to the insurgency by the Boko Haram sect in north Eastern Nigeria cost his government to lose enormous goodwill.

He also viewed the postponement of the elections as another poor judgment, suggesting that it might be a sign of an interim government looming.

In his words: “Ex-military officers and security officers are trying to push aside the political contestants and use the unrest as an excuse to establish an interim government. The nature of the interim government wants to pretend it’s not really a military intervention. A few political leaders, well-known civilians, want to give the veneer of civilian structure, but basically it’s a kind of political intervention.”

Obviously unhappy with the state of the nation, he expressed regret that “Nigeria is aspiring very hard to become a failed state.”

Raising the issue of the Chibok girls and speaking of his hopes of their return, Soyinka felt there was no hope of victory as regards defeating the terrorist group anytime soon  despite the ongoing efforts of the Nigerian military forces  who are fighting the insurgents in collaboration with neighbouring countries.

“It will take a generation at least to exterminate this phenomenon altogether. The military would not have had to cope with Boko Haram on this level if the proper action had been taken at the right time. This is the biggest problem I have with the Jonathan government.”

The 80-year-old writer, who has played an active role in African politics for more than 50 years, said he fears there are “clear indications of a military intervention.”

He expressed displeasure on the increasingly aggressive direction the election campaign is taking. He stated clearly that he had no regard for the First Lady, referring to her recent comment in which she called on her husband’s supporters to stone people who are clamouring for leadership change in Nigeria through the 2015 general elections.

Soyinka also told DW that while he doesn’t support the opposition’s move to file criminal charges against the First Lady before the International Criminal Court (ICC), her comments should not go unchecked.

”What she said was totally unacceptable. I no longer regard her as the First Lady of Nigeria,” he said.


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