Stop using Police, DSS to silence Nigerians – Soyinka slams FG

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Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has called on the Federal Government to stop using security forces to prevent Nigerians from speaking on national issues.

Soyinka, who spoke in Badagry on Saturday at the unveiling of an art gallery in commemoration of his 85th birthday, noted that such an approach only signal fear on the part of the government.

Recall that the police, Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services on Monday in Lagos sealed off the venue for a symposium where Soyinka, rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, and others were to speak on the security issues in the country.

But speaking on Saturday, Soyinka, who thanked Femi Coker Art Gallery in Badagry for organising the event, said, “It is important to send strong message to this government and to the security services to stop trying to muzzle people when they come together to exchange ideas.

“You’re reducing them as human beings and you’re also reducing yourselves as human beings, because it means you’re afraid to listen.”

Soyinka also cautioned Nigerians not to believe everything they read on social media. He said they should instead take such online materials “with a pinch of salt.

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Soyinka said, “Be very, very careful what you believe even when you read such materials in social media or sometimes in newspapers because in this country, we have a most fertile multiplier effect.

“When somebody hears something, he puts it on the Internet, it spreads and an industry begins as people start commenting on things which never existed.

“Sometimes on social media, you’ll even see trending quotes supposedly from me, with my name, my photograph, with statements which represents what those people want to say but lacked the courage to say it.”

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