Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, on Thursday, disclosed that he had 60 reasons not to vote for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan. However, he did not list the reasons, but he said he would not encourage anyone to vote for the continuation of Jonathan’s administration, which he concluded had failed the tenets of leadership.
Soyinka spoke in Lagos, at the 2015 edition of the annual Vision of the Child (VOTC) programme which commenced in 2012, with this year’s edition themed: “The Road to Sambisa.”.
“I will not vote and I will not encourage anyone to vote for the continuation of this government, simply because your colleagues numbering over two hundred were kidnapped, ” Soyinka told students at the event.
He lamented that the Chibok girls kidnapped on April 14, 2014, were sent on a mission to acquire education, but ended up being kidnapped, “and the government of this nation failed to show leadership. So, anyone who says after that event that I will vote or cast my vote or encourage anyone to vote for this regime must be living in Sambisa forest.”
The forest is believed to be the abode of the Boko Haram terrorists, who kidnapped the Chibok girls
Soyinka lamented that it took the Jonathan government 10 days to even accept that the Chibok girls were missing, not to talk of commencing a rescue effort.
“There has been a failure of leadership. Our children whom you represent today have been betrayed.
“After that dereliction of duty, after that failure of leadership, after that betrayal for our future, for anyone to think or to put words in my mouth suggesting that I will vote or encourage anyone to vote for this regime is a travesty of intelligence,” Soyinka said.
About 250 student from 60 primary and secondary schools within Lagos, between the ages of nine to 12, attended the interview. Their entries were assessed by a panel of judges, comprising teachers, artists, child carers and social workers.
Festival Secretary and Programme Manager for the programme, Foluke George, said 60 finalists were drawn this year from 35 schools within Lagos State.
The finalists would be invited on March 7 to the National Conversation Foundation Park, Lekki and provided with brush, paint and easel, and required to illustrate their literary presentation in the complementary medium painting.