Stop being timid, Soyinka sends tough message to governors

Stop being timid, Soyinka sends tough message to governors

- Nigerian governors have been challenged by Wole Soyinka to stop being afraid and come out of their cocoons

- The Nobel laureate said the governors are charged with the immediate responsibility of the welfare of their own people and state

- According to Soyinka, the federal envelope needs to be pushed as far as it can go

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Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, has advised Nigerian governors to shun timidity and push for greater autonomy.

He re-echoed the call for restructuring while speaking at the virtual Obafemi Awolowo lecture with the theme, ‘Whither Nigeria?’ on Saturday, March 6.

Challenging the governors to take charge of the welfare of their people, he said if they study the constitution carefully, just as he has done with his lawyers, they will realise that a lot can be done at this moment, The Cable reports.

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According to him, the governors have too much centralised mentality embedded in their minds and are afraid to come out of their cocoons.

Soyinka to govs: Stop being timid, demand for more autonomy
Wole Soyinka re-echoed the call for restructuring the country. Photo Credit: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP
Source: Getty Images

He stated:

“I want to make a plea to all governors, stop being so timid. Push this federal envelope as far as it can go, even while we undertake the technical aspect of restructuring.
“Whether in terms of dialogue, evolving the constitution or whatever, something has to go on, after all, we’ve had so many of these confabs.”

According to him, the governors need more autonomy to operate.

The Punch reports that Soyinka reminded the governors that their primary responsibility is to the people, the state, and not the centre.

Ezekwesili drums support for restructuring

The calls for the restructuring of the country is growing louder by the day with more prominent Nigerians declaring their support for the constitutional exercise had reported earlier that former presidential candidate, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, joined the calls, stating that every geopolitical region dislikes the way the nation is presently constituted.

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She stated that Nigeria had failed in the practice of democracy, federalism, and constitutionalism, noting that restructuring was the only way to save the nation.

Nkem Ikeke is a senior editor at with over 8 years of experience. She is a graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Music, books and her sewing machine keep her busy when she's not copy-editing or writing for


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