Nigeria under Buhari is like an aircraft whose pilot has gone missing – Nobel laureate Soyinka Updated for 2021


Updated: March 6, 2021

Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is like an aircraft whose pilot has gone missing, leaving the controls in the hands of his family members, Nigerian literature Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, said on Monday.

Professor Soyinka warned that Africa’s most populous nation was at the risk of genocide, warning that a repeat of the Rwanda genocide was looming over Nigeria.

He said killings by herdsmen and Boko Haram were threatening the stability of Nigeria, and failure to act now might lead to a catastrophic disaster.

Professor Soyinka made the call in a statement issued in commemoration of this year’s workers day, according to Channels Television.

The warning came just hours before Mr. Buhari and President Donald Trump meet at The White House.

“Where was the Captain, Somewhere along the aisle, saluting the passengers, all quite proper, and indeed encouraged by regulations,” Professor Soyinka said of Nigeria under Buhari referring to his analogy of a missing pilot.

“He had placed the plane on auto-pilot, just as this nation has been for some time, so he walked between the seats, dispensing and acknowledging greetings, it was a long flight to Hong Kong, after all.

“The plane went into a sharp turn after the wrong lever was pulled, and the autopilot disengaged.

“The original flight pattern was annulled -does that echo a campaign manifesto and the plane was now in unqualified hands”.

Mr. Soyinka asked the Federal Government of Nigeria to take a decisive action to end what he describes as the ongoing ethnic cleansing in some parts of the country.

He said the country is in a terminal nosedive, and urgently requires the intervention of the international community.

On the killings witnessed across the country, Professor Soyinka asked President Buhari to order all land usurpers in the affected towns and villages to vacate the forcefully occupied lands within 48 hours.

“Issue orders to the military and police that, wherever illegal occupiers are found, they should be meted the same treatment as are accorded terrorists.

“Instruct all agencies that, once cleared of usurpers, the rightful occupants should be escorted back to their farmsteads and villages and provided maximum protection”.

He said the President must order the military and the police to enforce the instruction.

“It is not enough to back the anti-open grazing laws, so late in the day, but we shall leave that for later. Right now, the violated and dispossessed demand restitution, and with no further delay or subterfuge.

“All available forces should be deployed to right a hideous, unprecedented wrong that has left the nation drowning in blood, we simply cannot continue one day longer to endure this forceful feeding of human blood”.


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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on


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