Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka says Nigeria cannot remain one country if it fails to decentralize as fast as possible.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS, Soyinka urged President Muhammadu Buhari to be more sensitive to the agitations of secessionists rather than bully them. “If it (Nigeria) fails to decentralize, some people use the word reconstruction, some use whatever. But if Nigeria fails to decentralize as fast as possible, manifestly, not as rhetoric, then Nigeria cannot stay together,” he warned.

Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka

 He noted that he is not the only Nigerian calling for the decentralization of the country. He said: “Again, it’s not Wole Soyinka saying this. Everybody has said it; generals have said it; ex-heads of state have said it; politicians have said it; analysts have said it; economists have said it. And that’s what’s happening to people in the streets. That’s why they are moving; that’s why they are demonstrating; that’s why they are defying threats from the police and from the government that if you demonstrate, you are traitors or you do this, we’ll deal with you.”

On how to make the system work again, he said: “It relates to what I was saying earlier. It is because he (Buhari) is not listening or he’s listening and he’s not understanding so that we do not have this extreme moment to say, wait a minute, there is nobody out there, we better look after our own security, we better look after our own very existence.”

Soyinka added that Buhari is not listening to the yearnings of Nigerians, and his administration did not really understand the applications, full responsibilities and commitments involved in a democratic regime.

He also condemned the language used by Buhari in his recent interview and even in his statements from Aso Rock in relation to those who are clamouring for secession. According to him, when a group makes such agitations, any sensitive leadership must learn to understand this and respond to the reasons behind those agitations and not start threatening and bullying and trying to intimidate people because they are giving vent to deep-seated grievances.

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