Buhari Is A better Choice To Jonathan- Soyinka
Wole Soyinka yesterday reviewed the polity ahead of the coming elections and adjudged the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, a better choice than President Goodluck Jonathan.
Prof. Soyinka in a statement entitled ‘The challenge of change – A burden of choice’ said that while the contest is not one between blacks and whites, saints and demons, salvation and damnation, Buhari seems to have gone through “a plausible transformation that comes close to that of another ex-military dictator, Mathew Kerekou of the Benin Republic.”
Conversely, he said that Nigeria under President Jonathan has been subjected to “acts of outright fascism in a dispensation that is supposedly democratic. We have endured a season of stagnation in development and a drastic deterioration in the quality of existence. We are force-fed the burgeoning culture of impunity, blatantly manifested in massive corruption. We feel insulted by the courtship and indulgence of common criminals by the machinery of power.”
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On the choice before the electorate, Prof. Soyinka said: “Someone in the media has called it a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, another between Apocalypse and Salvation. The reasons are not far-fetched. They are firmly lodged in the trauma of memory and the rawness of current realities. “Well, at least one can dialogue with the devil; even dine with that creature with the proverbial long spoon. With the deep blue sea however, deceptively placid, even the best swimmers drown. The problem for some is deciding which is the devil, which is the deep blue sea. For most, instructively, the difference is clear. There are no ambiguities, no qualifications, no pause for reflection – they are simply raring to go! I envy them.
“Through participation, direct or vicarious, we find ourselves landed within a system that has thrown up two choices – realistically speaking, that is. Formally, we dare not ignore the claims of other contestants. Of the two however, one is representative of the immediate past, still present with us, and with an accumulation of negative baggage.
“The other is a remote past, justly resented, centrally implicated in grievous assaults against Nigerian humanity, with a landscape of broken lives that continues to lacerate collective memory.”
“It is largely around this question that a choice will probably be made. It is pointlessly, and dangerously provocative to present General Buhari as something that he probably was not. It is however just as purblind to insist that he has not demonstrably striven to become what he most glaringly was not, to insist that he has not been chastened by intervening experience and – most critically – by a vastly transformed environment – both the localised and the global.
“Of course we have been deceived before. A former ruler whom, one presumed, had been purged and transformed by a close encounter with death, and imprisonment, has turned out to be an embodiment of incorrigibility on several fronts, including a contempt for law and constitution. Would it be different this time round? Has subjection to police tear-gas and other forms of violence, like the rest of us mortals, and a spell in close detention, truly ‘civilianized’ this contender? I have studied him from a distance, questioned those who have closely interacted with him, including his former running-mate, Pastor Bakare, and dissected his key utterances past and current.
“And my findings? A plausible transformation that comes close to that of another ex-military dictator, Mathew Kerekou of the Benin Republic.
He expressed disgust at some of the tactics deployed in the process of this political campaign which, according to him, “remain some of the most vulgar and sickening that the nation has experienced on its democratic journey.”
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“Has the campaign in itself thrown up any portents for the future? Let all beware. The predator walks stealthily on padded feet, but we all know now with what lightning speed the claws flash into action. We have learnt to expect, deplore and confront certain acts in military dictatorship, but to find them manifested under supposedly democratic governance? Of course the tendency did not begin with this regime, but how eagerly the seeming meek have aspired to surpass their mentors!”
It will be recalled that Prof. Wole Soyinka, declared , February 5, 2015, that no one should vote for President Goodluck Jonathan’s and his administration in the February 14 general election, saying that there has been a total failure under the President’s leadership.
Prof. Wole Soyinka, who earlier last month, dismissed claims that he had endorsed some politicians as his presidential and governorship candidates ahead of the February elections. But with his lambast at the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, no one seems to know where he stands now.