Updated: March 7, 2021
Professor Wole Soyinka, the first African to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, warned on Friday against “wild dogs” turning Nigeria into a dictatorship.
Mr. Soyinka called on President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator, to “rein in your wild dogs of disobedience”.
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The 1986 Nobel Prize winner blasted Buhari over the re-arrest of activists Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare at the Federal High Court, Abuja on Friday by the Department of State Services, DSS.
Soyinka said he was amazed by the level of disobedience to court’s order by the administration of Buhari, adding: “President-General Buhari: Rein in your wild dogs of disobedience. And for a start, get a trainer to teach them some basic court manners!”.
He likened the scene leading to the arrest of Sowore and Bakare in the court premises to that of an African Wild Dog.
He said: “A few years ago, I watched the video of a pack of the famed African wild dogs hunt, eventually bring down, and proceed to devour a quarry. It was an impala, antelope family. The pack isolated the most vulnerable looking member of the herd – it was pregnant – pursued it, until it fled to a waterhole which, for such animals, is the nearest thing to a sanctuary.
“A few minutes ago, almost as it was happening, I watched the video of a pack of the DSS, bring down, and fight over their unarmed, totally defenceless quarry within the sanctuary of a court of law. I found little or no difference between the two scenarios, except that the former, the wild dogs, exhibited more civilized table manners than the DSS in court manners,” he said.
The Nobel Laureate said only yesterday, in his commentary on the ongoing Sowore saga, he pointed out the near perfect similarity between plain crude thuggery and the current rage of court disobedience, saying that little did he suspected that “the state children of disobedience would aspire to the level of the African wild dogs on a pack hunt.
“I apologize for underestimating the DSS capacity for the unthinkable. I reiterate the nation’s concern, indeed alarm, about the escalating degradation of the judiciary through multiple means, of which disobedience of court orders is fast becoming the norm.
“May I remind this government that disobedience calls to disobedience, and that disobedience of the orders of the constitutional repository of the moral authority of arbitration – the judiciary – can only lead eventually to a people’s disregard of the authority of other arms of civil society, a state of desperation that is known, recognized and accepted as – civil disobedience.
“It is so obvious – state disobedience leads eventually to civil disobedience, piecemeal or through a collective withdrawal of recognition of other structures of authority. That way leads to chaos but – who set it in motion? As is often the case, the state, unquestionably. Such a state bears full responsibility for the ensuing social condition known as anomie.”