Soyinka mocks Buhari over promised end to Boko Haram menace

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Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has mocked President Muhammadu Buhari over the lingering Boko Haram insurgency, saying that the president could not end it by sitting in Aso Rock.

Soyinka, who said that Boko Haram terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements, have taken over Nigeria’s sovereignty, called for a national mobilisation to confront the security challenges.

He disclosed this while appearing on an Arise TV programme on Saturday.

The Nobel Laureate said that the situation was at the stage of desperation, advising the government not to hesitate to pay people if they could help bring an end to the Boko Haram menace.

He faulted some past leaders for allegedly laying the groundwork for the security challenges now bedevilling the nation.

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“There are those on whose shoulders must be placed the primary responsibility and that include some former Heads of State who refused to see the inevitability of what we are going through right now.

“I am very glad that the northern elite are now speaking up, boldly and practically, (and are also) now taking measures which they should have taken years ago. They’ve moved beyond the unbelievable policies of actually paying killers to stop killing. I don’t want to mention names but some of them admitted that they were paying protection money to killers instead of dealing with that cancer in the only way which they should which, is excision, to take out killers instead of giving them money.

“You don’t appease evil and we are dealing with evil; there is no other word, we are dealing with the proliferation, the enthronement of evil in the society. And unfortunately we have encouraged its manifestation, its proliferation, its entrenchment.

“So, let them get away with the issue of sovereignty. If they have to pay people to come and help us, then call them whatever you want. Please go ahead because we’ve reached that stage of desperation.

“But I will prefer a general mobilisation in which people are trained, farmers especially are trained to work with the hoe in one hand and the gun in the other hand, ready to protect their lives, their harvests and the rest of us.

“We are not unique, history is full of those situations. I will like to see a national mobilisation. Let’s be practical,” Soyinka said.

Soyinka equally backed Borno State Governor, Babagana’s Zulum suggestion for Nigeria to engage mercenaries and militaries of neighbouring countries to combat the Boko Haram menace.

“From a self-protective point of view, it is a common problem; it is a national, collective issue. Don’t just sit there and think that you can solve it from Aso Rock, no. This now concerns even the lowest common citizens in this nation because that lowest, that most impotent individual has become a prime target. So, it’s a collective issue. I’m not surprised some governors now say let us reach outside help; it’s something I have said also. I don’t say mercenaries necessarily, but this has gone beyond a Nigerian problem.

“Instead of that, what do I hear? Somebody gets on the podium and say, ‘The sovereignty of this nation cannot be challenged. Please, don’t let us hear any more of that rubbish. The sovereignty of this nation is in the hands of the murdering herdsmen. The sovereignty of this nation has already been taken over by Boko Haram, it’s been taken over by ISWAP, it’s been taken over by those with absolutely no respect for what is called national integrity,” Soyinka said.

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