Nigeria is a Basket Case – Wole Soyinka
Veteran writer and Noble laureate, Wole Soyinka, has referred to Nigeria as a basket case. The 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature winner made this comment while addressing the topic of the Yoruba Nation agitation.
Soyinka said that in as much as he likes the idea of having a Yoruba Nation, those at the forefront of the agitation need to come out and define exactly what the movement is about.
During an interview with BBC Pidgin, Soyinka insisted on having a united Nigeria, but expressed regrets towards the state of things presently, opining that the country is not ready for unity.
“I don’t like the sound of a Yoruba Nation anymore than I like the sound of a Tiv nation or an Igbo nation. The reason is this: there are certain pejorative overtones, chauvinistic overtones attached to it. That’s not the issue. When you talk about Yoruba Nation, are we talking about the creation of a nation within Nigeria alone or across colonial borders into Cotonou, Benin Republic, where Yoruba exists, moving on to Togo and even Ivory Coast? So when we talk about Yoruba Nation, I have to know exactly what you mean. Do we even talk about the Yoruba in the Diaspora?
“So it’s a question which is not for me to answer at this particular moment. All I know is this, on a sentimental level, I will prefer us to mend and manage what we have but under certain, rigorous conditions.
“The condition is decentralization. We have to move away completely from this constitution which was imposed on us by an internal, neo-colonial force called the military. Now, if it had worked, if it were working, my position would have been different.
“My conditions are non-negotiable. We have to get away from the present political arrangement, because they clearly are not working; they are creating internal overlords, they are creating a skewed, lopsided revenue-sharing system. They are robbing Peter to pay Paul.
“Right now, what we have is not a nation but a basket-case, a real basket-case which is disintegrating all over the place, and all the contents are spilling over the basket. And all we are trying to do is to hold it there, grab it there, cover it there, cover that leak, and so on; a nation can’t continue like this. It’s obvious. And some people are more impatient than others.”
Source: Channels TV
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