Following the centenary celebration that held on the 28th of February at Abuja, many people were honored including Prof. Wole Soyinka but contrary to what was expected, on Saturday he said he rejected the centenary award to be conferred on him by the Federal Government because the late military dictator, General Sani Abacha, was included in the long list of awardees. In a statement entitled, ‘The canonisation of terror,’ Soyinka said it is an insult for him to be listed alongside the likes of Abacha for the award.
On why he can’t share anything with the likes of Abacha, Prof Soyinka said:
“Under that ruler, torture and other forms of barbarism were enthroned as the norm of governance. Nine Nigerian citizens, including the writer and environmentalist, Ken Saro-wiwa, were hanged after a trial that was stomach-churning even by the most primitive standards of judicial trial, and in defiance of the intervention of world leadership.
“We are speaking of a man who placed this nation under siege during an unrelenting reign of terror that is barely different from the current rampage of Boko Haram. It is this very psychopath that was recently canonised by the government of Goodluck Jonathan in commemoration of one hundred years of Nigerian trauma.”
Soyinka wondered why the Federal Government had not changed the names of roads, hospitals and any other public facility that were named after Abacha.
He added that by honouring Abacha, President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration had ridiculed Nigeria in the presence of world leaders by glorifying “murderers and thieves.”
“What the government of Goodluck Jonathan has done is to scoop up a century’s accumulated degeneracy in one preeminent symbol, then place it on a podium for the nation to admire, emulate and even – worship.”
“…I reject my share of this national insult,” the respected literary giant concluded.
© 2014 Nigeriafilms.com
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