Professor Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Laureate, has advised the Federal Government to stop pursuing Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho as a criminal, even as bandits roam the forests and highways free, inflicting pains on the people. Soyinka said this on a BBC interview.
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In his words: “My advice to the government is that they should stop pursuing this person as a criminal because you have begun acting in a criminal fashion against him. Because if and when Igboho comes to trial, I guarantee you it is the government that will be very embarrassed,” he said.
Soyinka went further: “I think they should just tell Igboho ‘we made a mistake, we should not have acted in this way, you are no longer wanted, please go back to your home’. In fact, escort him to his home and let him resume his normal life.
“As far as I am concerned it is up to Ignoho to decide. He knows what the circumstances were; he knows what happened before his people were killed, he is the only one that can decide for himself.”
Soyinka was disappointed that those behind banditry and insurgency in the country are roaming free while Igboho’s home was invaded by Nigeria’s security personnel.
As he argued: “I’m not aware one of them (bandits, insurgents) has been called for questioning but what did Igboho do? They didn’t call him for questioning but attacked him in the middle of the night illegally and unconstitutionally.”
With the way things are going, the Federal Government should be mindful of the optics. Right now, there is a deep distrust of government. On this, Soyinka advised: “We have to ask ourselves what is the position– mentally, spiritually, economically, politically– what is the collective state of mind of a vast section of this nation at the moment? This state of mind is best described as total distrust.”
“Anybody who is telling the government that the people of the state still trust it and the government believes that, then it is really plunging the state further into debris.
“It is not Igboho or Kanu that is the issue. It is a collective disenchantment with the conduct of this regime. It can only redeem itself, it can only reverse by coming clean. Try to open a totally new page.”