IMPUNITY: Nigerians Haven’t Protest Enough – Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate and leading human rights activist, has stated that Nigerians, including himself, should be held accountable for the country’s degree of impunity.

Nigerians, he claimed, tolerated impunity in the country and did not take to the streets as much as they should have.

He claims that everyone in Nigeria is paying the price for impunity since it was tolerated.

Soyinka gave a brief address at the 24th edition of the Wole Soyinka Lecture Series, which was presented through zoom and organized by the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity).

The conference’s subject was “National Conference Against Impunity.

He said, “I am absolutely certain that we would agree that one of the major reasons for the dilemma we are undergoing in this country right now is that we permitted, we nurtured, we even encouraged either by actions or inactions, the mindset of impunity both in leadership and among the people.

“We ourselves are equally guilty. We ourselves allowed it. We watched it happen. We didn’t take to the streets to protest it, to denounce it, to warn of the consequences. Oh yes, there were warnings here and there but they were not concerted and structured.”

He however said it is not too late to reverse the trend noting that it has to begin with “ a frank, honest and objective dialogue

Prof Patrick Lumumba, the keynote speaker, chastised Nigerian and African leaders for their failures in his paper.

He stated his dissatisfaction that Nigeria, which had a bright future, had fallen behind in progress due to poor leadership.

Rather than being outraged by impunity, he claims that Nigerians and Africans have rewarded corrupt politicians with re-election.

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“It is pertinent to ask why Nigeria which had such great promise continues to wallow in the lower rungs of human development. Why are Africans and Nigerians silent in the face of impunity? Why in the words of Wole Soyinka has the man in us died,” Lumumba said.

According to him the people should hold themselves responsible for refusing to act and being part of the misfortune that has befallen the country.

“Despite the impunity by our public office holders, by some miracle, we are not enraged! It would also seem that we have lost the gift of disgust. Why is this so, who cursed us?

“We are the co-authors of our own misfortune because we have lost our values and now resort to religion. We now choose to apply faith instead of logic, elevating the principle of ‘Donothingnism’. We have created leaders who have arrogated to themselves the monopoly of wisdom and the country is now run in a narrow and primordial fashion,” he added.

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