NOBEL Laureate and elder statesman Wole Soyinka has said Nigeria may not celebrate another Democracy Day if President Muhammadu Buhari fails to listen to the people.
Soyinka said this on Monday during an interview on Arise TV. The interview focused on the recent June 12 Democracy Day celebration in Nigeria.
The Nobel laureate noted that the upsurge in secessionist agitation in the country in recent times stemmed from Buhari’s refusal to listen to Nigerians.
“I am saying this whole nation is about to self-destruct and I am not the only one saying it, and except Buhari and his government listen and take action, otherwise we would not celebrate another Democracy Day come next year,” Soyinka said.
He noted that kidnapping had become a business in the western corridors of Lagos, Ogun, Kwara and other states but the president often came on air to act like nothing had happened.
Soyinka argued that the creation of a regional security outfit, Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun, was as a result of the frustration and desperation felt by the people.
According to him, Buhari was still asleep and unaware that the nation had changed dramatically over the last few years.
He noted that the situation in Nigeria had changed drastically, adding that Buhari must understand that whoever was in charge of the country should listen.
Soyinka said that Buhari must also understand that the threat of disintegration in the country had accelerated in the last couple of years beyond what was obtainable since the civil war.
Commenting on the recent ban on Twitter in Nigeria, Soyinka observed that truncating the various channels of self-expression open to any polity amounted to absolutely abrogating the very essence of democracy.
Soyinka noted that although the president had shown a symbolic gesture of restitution by recognising June 12 as Democracy Day, such an act must be consistently manifested.
“Democracy is not a sequence or spasm of symbolic gesture such as restoring June 12 as the Democracy Day, it is an act of restitution.
“That restoration was obviously a symbolic gesture, very calculative, but it has to be manifested consistently without exception in the act and when you truncate any channel of self-expression of the people, you are literally becoming an enemy of democracy,” he said.