The Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has reacted to the incessant abduction of students in various boarding schools across Nigeria.
Mr Soyinka said the repeated attack on schools by terrorists is fast making the country close to the stage of accepting the unacceptable culture.
The Professor of Comparative Literature made this comment during an award lecture and public presentation of his latest book, ‘Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth’, in Abeokuta, Ogun state on Saturday.
The event was organised by the Ogun state chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), in collaboration with the Abeokuta Club.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the timeline of Nigeria’s alarming trend of mass abduction of school children
The activities are carried out by different bands of outlaws in the North-west, North-central and North-east.
No end in sight
Reacting to the menace, Mr Soyinka said states may need to shut down some of their activities in solidarity with affected states where kidnapping of children are rampant.
“The abductions of our children, when will it end; how will it end? I don’t think any one of us can tell. But it is important that we continue to stress and to remind ourselves that, not only are these abnormal times, but it seems to be, to me anyway, times of the shirking of responsibility in very key areas,” Mr Soyinka was quoted by TheCable.
He repeated his position that those at the helm of affairs of the nation have failed the populace.
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“The important thing is that we are very close to accepting a culture of the unacceptable,” Mr Soyinka said.
“I think we are reaching the point where, in any state where any child is kidnapped, that state should shut down completely. And other states, in solidarity, should at least shut down some of their activities.
“We shouldn’t wait for an enemy, faceless, airborne, unpredictable enemy like COVID, to make us shut down. In protest and as a statement of the unacceptable, we are shutting ourselves down until this situation is resolved.”
The laureate said it appears “we don’t know what else one can propose at this particular time. Yes, life must go on, but even those activities will generate and enhance our very existence.”
Speaking on the over 300 schoolgirls recently kidnapped from a school in Jangebe, Zamfara State, he said: “we’ll get those children back; I know that. It is a price we pay and the consequence, the permanence of those scars on our collective psyche — that is what worries me.”