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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Soyinka speaks on restructuring of Nigeria

Femi Falana and Soyinka
Wole Soyinka

Nigeria’s Nobel Prize laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has stated that Nigerians need to strip the Federal government of its power. Mr. Soyinka in the interview granted to the Punch said that the over centralisation of the government had caused anger among constituent states.

According to him, the policy is insulting and that it endorses anti-healthy conflict among states.

He said: “We cannot continue to allow a centralisation policy which makes the constituent units of this nation resentful; they say monkey dey work, baboon dey chop. And the idea of centralising revenues, allocation system, whereby you dole out; the thing is insulting and it is what I call anti-healthy rivalry. It is against the incentives to make states viable.
“I am on the side of those who say we must do everything to avoid disintegration. That language I understand. I don’t understand (ex-president Olusegun) Obasanjo’s language. I don’t understand (President Muhammadu) Buhari’s language and all their predecessors, saying the sovereignty of this nation is non-negotiable. It’s bloody well negotiable and we had better negotiate it. We better negotiate it, not even at meetings, not at conferences, but every day in our conduct towards one another.”

 Professor Soyinka said Nigeria could not continue with a centralisation policy, which fortified what he defined as “monkey dey work, baboon dey chop” mentality. The popular writer also faulted the proposal to create grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen in the country, noting that rather than do that, ranches, where members of the public could go to buy cows and goats, should be created. “The word ‘reserve’ is the problem. If there are ranches, it doesn’t matter where they are built, ranches are a commercial proposition, it isn’t a Fulani issue. You can create ranches so that cows, goats could be bought there. This shouldn’t be an instrument of politics, race or ethnicity,” he said.

 President Buhari meets with Igbo group Pro-Biafra activists and Niger Delta militants call for the restructure of Nigeria. Former vice president Atiku Abubakar during the presentation of the book “We are all Biafrans” also said that what Nigeria requires most at present is the kick-starting of the process of restructuring of the federation.