Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has cried out about the endless martyrdom of youth in the country. And has called on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to seek help, saying the killing of three of the abducted students of the Greenfield University, Kaduna was another indication that the country was at war.
Soyinka, a renowned octogenarian playwright and poet, said with their killing, the already over-stretched sinews of moral restraint had been snapped off the casing of nation being, and that nothing was left but the collective wails of impotence.
He made these remarks in a statement yesterday in reaction to the brutal killing of the abducted varsity students, whose bodies were dumped close to the institution.
In the statement titled: “The Endless Martyrdom of Youth,” Soyinka said Abukakar Atiku had summed up the nation’s feeling, when he said, “This most recent savagery against our youth is heartbreaking.
“More than the heart is broken, however, more than millions of individual hearts that still lay claim to bonds in a common humanity,” the Nobel laureate said with grief.
He said one’s greatest fear, with this latest feat of cowardly savagery, “is that the nation must brace itself for a Beslan scenario, yet strive to avoid Nigeria become Africa’s Chechnya.
“I envy no one the task ahead, terminating the toxic harvest of past derelictions. Blame laying is for later. Right now is the question of – what needs to be done, and done urgently.
“We keep avoiding the inevitable, but that very unthinkable now hammers brutishly on our gates, the blood ransom arrogantly insatiable.
This nation is at war, yet, we continue to pretend that these are mere birth-pangs of a glorious entity. They are death throes. Vultures and undertakers hover patiently but with full confidence,” he declared.
Soyinka noted that those who have been proven weak and incapable should learn to swallow their vain pride and seek help.
According to the Nobel laureate, “this is no new counseling. But of course, the dog that will get lost no longer heeds the hunter’s whistle.”
He further noted that the dogs of war “stopped merely baying years ago. Again and again they have sunk their fangs into the jugular of this nation.”
“I grieve with the bereaved, but mourn even more for our youth so routinely sacrificed, burdened with uncertainty and traumatized beyond youth’s capacity to cope. To this government we repeat the public cry: Seek Help. Stop Improvising with Human Lives.
Not for the first time, what many hoped was a Natural Law of Limitations has been contemptuously, defiantly breached. We need to remind ourselves of hideous precedents.
“We must remember Chibok. And Dapchi. And numerous antecedents and after, unpublicised, or soon relegated to the sump of collective amnesia. The wages of impunity never diminish, on the contrary, they distend,” he said.
Formally reacting to the development via a statement by one of his media aides, Garba Shehu, the president however declared that, “banditry, kidnapping and the politics of murders will be fought with all the resources available to our country”.
He gave strong assurances that those that thought profits could be made, either from money paid as ransom or in politics, “will realise sooner than later that they are bound by the same fate as their victims”.
The president strongly condemned the killing of three of the students, even as he described the students as bright youngsters, who were cut down by evil people in their prime.
“My thoughts are with their families in this time of grief. May their souls rest in peace,” said the President.