‘Jonathan Is Not Capable Of Countering Boko Haram’- Soyinka

Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Tuesday said the President Goodluck Jonathan led administration is not capable of countering the menace of the dreaded Islamist sect, popularly known as Boko Haram.


The Nobel Laureate, who made the assertion while speaking on CNN, reiterated the need for international community to intervene in what he described as the bestiality of the insurgents. 

Soyinka while responding to the question of the host, Christine Amanpour on how the insurgency in the country could be curbed, said: “This menace has to be internationalised; every country has to be involved in finding solutions to the problem. It is not a Nigerian problem but the problem of the whole world. From the activities of the group and the response of the government since this madness started, it is clear that this government cannot handle this problem alone”. 

Soyinka condemned both the past and the present governments in the country of living in self denial, by believing that they could negotiate or appeal to murderers and killers to stop their activities.

“It is not just the President that has been living in self denial but some of those he has surrounded himself with. I cannot understand why it is difficult to ask for international help when you are confronted with a problem of this nature.

“The problem would not have reached this monstrous level if the President has not been living in self denial. So, accepting the help of the United States in this matter is long overdue” he said.  

The Nobel Laureate also condemned the visit of late President, Umaru Yar’Adua, to the family and loyalists of the founder of Boko Haram, Yusuf Mohammed, after he was killed in police detention in 2009.

“I don’t support extrajudicial killing; it is condemnable, it is absurd. But you need to understand this better that these people that were said to have been killed by the security agents were equally killers and murderers.

“Yusuf, the leader of the sect, was killing people and forcing people to convert to Islam or be killed. Now, I’m surprised that some people have painted Yusuf as a saint.

“The former President went to the family and people of Yusuf after he was killed (in 2009) to plead with them to be calm; appealing to killers and murderers to be calm?”

Soyinka recommended that the authorities should get psychologists for the abducted school girls after they have been freed as they could live with the trauma of their kidnapping for the rest of their lives.

According to him, politicians had laid the foundation for the army of idle militants in the North, which became the bedrock of the lingering insurgency.

“The politicians helped to entrench this problem in the first place. The large army of Almajiri metamorphosed into the raw materials that these terrorists recruited and the politicians also used them for their own selfish interest. Now, they can no longer handle the problem” he said.  

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