OBASANJO A HYPOCRITE, SAYS SOYINKA
FOR pontificating on current issues in the polity, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has earned an acerbic criticism from Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
Soyinka describes Obasanjo as a hypocrite, who has no moral standing on the prevailing political crisis in the country.
He said: ÒFirst of all, Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo is a hypocrite. He bears full responsibility for the situation in which we find ourselves today.
"And I don't take him seriously and that"s all I want to say about him."
Soyinka, in the forefront of the campaign by civil society groups to ensure the resignation of ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua and transfer of full powers to Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, was fielding questions from three Nigerian writers in Jaipur, India recently.
His comment was sought on the statement credited to Obasanjo, calling on Yar'Adua to resign and his (Soyinka's) leading of protest marches in Nigeria and abroad to pressure Yar'Adua to respect the Nigerian Constitution.
According to Soyinka, Obasanjo, Who is now coming up to offer hypocritical hogwash," was among Nigeria leaders and political office holders, who have nothing but contempt for the rest of society.
However, the Nobel laureate, who made a presentation at the Jaipur Literary Festival, said he was leading the political campaign in Nigeria so as to take the country back to the people.
"You should demand your nation back and don't just sit and watch it being degraded and expropriated by people who have absolutely no respect for you, no respect at all, even to their own, he said.
He continued: I didn't just lead the march to Abuja; I had been calling for marches. My last three lectures in Nigeria, I had been calling, trying to get Nigerians to wake up and seize their destiny in their hands and take their rightful place in the making.
"Rescue the nation from the cabal of reprobate gangsters, extortionists and even political murderers.
"Some of them are political murderers, political assassins responsible for some of the assassinations, the unprecedented scale of political assassinations we've witnessed in Nigeria in the last 10 years.
Soyinka said he had been asking Nigerians just how much they could take, stressing, "you (Nigerians) don"t even feel you are degraded as human beings to exist in such a community and you go about your work everyday.
"These were the themes of my lectures within Nigeria for quite a while.
"So, doing it, participating in that kind of march and ensuring that it worked was simply a continuation of something I had been saying for a long time.
"And all I have to say to you, all you people is; this nation is yours, this country is yours. You should demand; you should take it back by any legitimate means you are capable of.