Wole Soyinka adds his voice to the growing calls for a National Conference, including from a non-traditional Northern Nigeria which, because it has always gained the most from the lopsided “federation” Nigeria operates, had always been unanimously been pro the status quo.
Among points touched by the Nobel winner that would be solved through a national dialog include the anomaly of central policing in a multi-ethnic country as well as the herdsmen problem which the central government has not paid serious attention to its solution. TOLA.
“I remember that policeman, who said if we met, that would be treason. I wasn’t a member of PRONACO at the time. That’s when I joined PRONACO. If you’re saying to me, ‘I am a second-class citizen; I cannot sit down and discuss the articles, the protocols of staying together’ and you’re trying to bully me, I won’t accept.”
He said Nigeria could not continue with a centralisation policy, which encouraged what he described as “monkey dey work, baboon dey chop” mentality.
“… I find it very difficult to accept that people can be nervous about the state police. State police has been abused. Nobody is denying that; it’s historical. Don’t tell us because we know already. But isn’t centralised police also abused? Look at what’s been coming out from the last elections, not just the police, but the military.”
“In Enugu, why did it take so long to investigate the killings? It’s like the case of Ese Oruru. What is all this? What is security for? That thing should have been addressed immediately. (In Enugu), they shouldn’t have waited for directives from Buhari or anybody. This is a crime against humanity. There should be no debate about it.
“The military should have been drafted there immediately; the police, first of all, and the military – if necessary. I found out that the victims were arrested; what’s all that about? This menace is underestimated. If they had reached my secure place in Abeokuta, then it is no longer a remote problem.”
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2016. 6:05 p.m. [GMT]