Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Please Save Nigeria Now...Senior Advocate Of Nigeria Begs Wole Soyinka

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria Ebun Olu Adegboruwa has called on Nobel Laurete Prof Wole Soyinka to take the lead to save Nigeria from what he called "tyranical oppression " of the current President Muhammadu Buhari's government

This was his full statement


(As published in the Nigerian Tribune of 17/12/2019)

The Man Died! A brilliant literary effort put together by a genius, amongst his many works. He towers above his fellows, his image looms larger that his person and he is by all means, a revolutionary, in relation to Nigerian affairs, African liberation and indeed global politics. Little wonder that Wikipedia has this to say about him:

“He took an active role in Nigeria's political history and its struggle for independence from Great Britain. In 1965, he seized the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service studio and broadcast a demand for the cancellation of the Western Nigeria Regional Elections. In 1967, during the Nigerian Civil War, he was arrested by the federal government of General Yakubu Gowon and put in solitary confinement for two years.

Soyinka has been a strong critic of successive Nigerian governments, especially the country's many military dictators, as well as other political tyrannies, including the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe. Much of his writing has been concerned with "the oppressive boot and the irrelevance colour of the of the foot that wears it". During the regime of General Sani Abacha (1993–98), Soyinka escaped from Nigeria on a motorcycle via the "NADECO Route." Abacha later proclaimed a death sentence against him "in absentia." With civilian rule restored to Nigeria in 1999, Soyinka returned to his nation.”

What I need to add is that Prof Wole Soyinka was instrumental to the establishment of Radio Kudirat, which was the official mouthpiece of NADECO and all activists involved in the restoration of the June 12 mandate. Amongst his other progressive exploits, Soyinka led Nigerians during the fuel subsidy protests and he has continued to be active in the Nigerian project, thereafter. My dear Prof, humbly expressed below are the reasons that compelled me to address this memo to you, openly.

Nigeria is presently at a crossroad, plagued by poor leadership and blind followership, resulting into backwardness, corruption, cluelessness and lately, dictatorship. Nothing seems to be working well at all, to the advantage of the common man, whom you have dedicated most of your life to fight for. The ruling class has become totally ruthless and greedy, eliminating completely, the middle class and in that wise, enslaving the masses completely. We now have legislators who openly pass Bills containing ouster clauses, purporting to deny the court of jurisdiction to question the actions of an agency of government (AMCON) and granting retrospective operation to the said AMCON Act, in respect of financial transactions concluded many decades ago. We are no longer conducting elections in Nigeria, but politicians gather together to declare bogus figures as election result, and when you challenge them, they taunt you to go to court, knowing that the judiciary has been totally crippled. The court system in Nigeria has totally collapsed Prof, and it takes average six years for you to conclude any case in the High Court, another five or more years in the Court of Appeal and an indeterminate period of time in the Supreme Court.

Prof, our land is filled with violence and bloodshed, as bandits and criminals have taken over. We now have a situation where senior police officers are kidnapped in broad daylight by criminals and other policemen rally round to raise money to pay ransom for his release. The terrorists have not ceased to torment our people in the North East, whilst cultists, armed robbers and kidnappers, have taken over the South. Our youths have no job and they have now embraced a new trade of advanced fee fraud (YahooYahoo), whilst a good number of them are foot soldiers for politicians to be deployed as thugs during elections. Many of them are languishing in slave camps in the Middle East whilst the rest of them trying to escape poverty and joblessness in Nigeria have perished in the Mediterranean Sea. You can no longer travel by road in Nigeria, due to the poor state of our roads, which the government has proved incapable of managing, with a 127 kilometre highway from Lagos to Ibadan lasting well over five years for repairs, with no date for its completion, wasting lives and destinies in the process.

Prof, Nigeria is approaching the brink, as never in our history have we been so divided along ethnic and religious lines. Fundamental human rights, for which you have labored tirelessly, are on the reverse in Nigeria, as citizens are denied their freedom of movement, when soldiers have invaded available space with various military operations of Python Dance, Egbueke, Positive Identification, etc. We are told that we have no right to free speech but must subject ourselves to be regulated through Social Media Regulation Bill and Hate Speech Bill. The government wants to shut us up and impose a culture of silence and fear upon the citizens. The protests and rallies that you freely organized in those days, we are being told we cannot try them again, even under a supposed democratic regime.

The President that Nigerians elected is absent from governance, in fact and in law and it is said that a cabal has hijacked the government from him. His wife has openly confirmed this a number of times, to the extent that Nigerians are not sure who to hold responsible for the actions of government any longer. Everybody in one sphere of authority or other is a lord unto himself. Things seem to have fallen apart and the centre is not holding anything at all. We are borrowing money at an alarming rate Prof, but yet, we are told that Nigeria Customs Service is raking in billions of naira, JAMB claims to be milking poor students and their parents and thus remitting billions of naira, the Federal Inland Revenue Service is claiming to have generated trillions of naira, Nigerian Ports Authority has tales of billions of dollars that it has raked in, so too NIMASA, NLNG, while the EFCC, ICPC all claimed to have recovered billions of naira and dollars from corrupt persons and General Sani Abacha has never ceased to vomit dollars, even in death. But we have no record of these mind-boggling claims.

Prof, we are still experiencing blackout all over Nigeria sir and with constant system collapses, generator has become the most common item in all our homes, offices, churches, factories, newsrooms and even in Aso Villa and PHCN offices. We are still compelled to pay for darkness through the crooked estimated billing system and many small-scale businesses and even big-time industries are groaning under the yoke of epileptic power supply fraud. Many States are not paying salaries to their workers Sir, whereas some of the Governors and the leaders earn fat bonuses, bogus pensions and fraudulent security votes. Nigeria has become the poverty capital of the world, at least from the perspective of the masses, while majority of our people find it very tough to eke out a living, as their purchasing power has dwindled drastically whilst the cost of living has skyrocketed astronomically. Nobody is spared Prof, except politicians and their allies in government, who all have access to free money.

The activists are all in hiding Prof and civil society organisations have either been conquered, compromised or settled outrightly. The ones that have refused to yield their honourable grounds have become endangered species, facing one trumped-up criminal charge or the other, whilst the very harsh economic climate has shut up many others. It is a great risk to be an activist in Nigeria presently, as even the International Community has been warned not to ‘interfere’ in the domestic affairs of Nigeria, except when it comes to medical treatment for our leaders and borrowing money to ‘finance’ the budget. It is that bad Sir and we don’t want to continue this way, which is part of the reason for this memo. Nigeria needs you now sir. It is not a case of the wasted generation again as we have not done anything untoward as a people, other than to trust our leaders with power and our resources. We cannot continue this way Prof or else all of us are in peril.

What do I want you to do Prof? Take the lead, give direction and save Nigeria from dictatorship. You have the track record, you understand all the issues perfectly well and you are best suited for this assignment at this critical time in the life of Nigeria. If you start it, I can assure you that Nigerians will rise up to be counted. Let us declare a protest, in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Warri, Jos, Kaduna, Ibadan, Akure, Benin, etc. Please raise your voice of courage across Nigeria and to the whole world and they will listen to you. Let us occupy Aso Villa, take over the National Assembly and other key institutions so that our voices will be heard. Pa Michael Imoudu, Pa Anthony Enahoro, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, Prof Esko Tuoyo, Dr. Tai Solarin, Comrade Chima Ubani, Comrade Bamidele Aturu, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, etc, will all rest well in their graves when they see you move in action, against oppression, repression and growing fascism.

At a time in the history of the Empire of the Medes, the Jews faced the threat of annihilation but a slave girl who rose to be queen by divine providence, staked her life for the salvation of her people. In your own eloquent words: “The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.” You are way older than those who are currently terrorizing us, you are far more exposed and better educated than them all Prof. I urge you to take up the gauntlet, and save Nigeria. And I perceive that I speak for many Nigerians.

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