Literary icon and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka yet again, reiterated his unflinching support for the Biafran agitation, arguing that umu Igbo have been brutalised and shortchanged to the extent that so much justifies their wanrting to exit Nigeria.
Prof. Soyinka said this while on Al Jazeera, yesterday Wednesday, on his support for Biafra agitators.
His words: “I am very much pro- Biafra because I recognise that the Igbo have been wronged desperately.
“They have been brutalised in a way that justifies their feeling that they were not part of the nation.
“Let me also say this, Biafrans are not entirely innocent in this affair. They were not, but the unleashing of such venom, such devastation on them as a people, was sufficient to justify their decision not to be part of the nation.
“I was pro-Biafran in the sense that I felt that they needed justice.”
Soyinka denied he was a troublemaker, especially in the Biafran crisis, but added, “I grew up in certain circumstances being very conscious politically, in this very Abeokuta; my mother was involved in the politics, my aunt, Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was a leader…
“I grew up among political arguments on issues that concern humanity and I find that basically gravitated towards recognising the basic worth of human beings.
“Something I disagree when they call me a patriot because I don’t agitate on some certain entity called a nation; I agitate on humanity.”
He criticised the removal of History and teaching of the Biafran crisis in schools.
“Officials do not want to confront their own history, especially the history in the making of which they feel uncomfortable but, if you do not confront your past, you are going to mess up your future.”
On Boko Haram and the breakup of Nigeria, he said ironically, Boko Haram might be part of the reasons Nigeria may stay together.
According to the Sunnews online, Soyinka said a few years ago, he would have agreed that Nigeria would break, but, now that a section of the country is in trouble, there is some kind of pulling together. He added that the conscience of many Nigerian has been awakened such that they cannot abandon that section of the country.
He urged Nigerians to recognise the plurality of Nigeria, how it came together and begin to devise and adopt a method of governance which cannot only be of massive decentralisation. “That way, we can stay together. If we continue to have a centralist government, then, Nigeria is on the brink.”