Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop creating confusion in the minds of Nigerians.
Soyinka who made the call as the Federal Government of Nigeria commemorated the anniversary of June 12 1993 election in Abuja on Tuesday.
Winner of the election, Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola and other players of the June 12 struggle were honoured at the event.
The Nobel Laureate who was on his way to Brazil had disembarked from the journey in order to make the event.
“I am delighted to be here to participate in this ceremony. I was virtually, literally yanked off the place on my way to Brazil to be present here and I am sure the conspirators succeeded because if I have heard about what happened, I would have knocked myself on the head,” he said.
Impressed by the President’s apology to Nigerians over the June 12 struggle, Soyinka confessed that, “Most of what I would have said have been knocked off by one singular gesture-the presidential apology. It is a dimension which I do not expect from this ceremony and I had a lot to say but because we are limited for time, the words have been taken out of my mouth.”
Soyinka who was given five minutes to make his presentation like other guests asked for two more minutes during which he made a request.
“I would like to make a request Mr. President, as we are honouring the heroes of democracy today. I like to make a request that you manage to stop creating confusion in the minds of Nigerians,” he craved Buhari’s indulgence.
Stating further he noted it is not possible to honour Abiola on one hand and also revere Abacha who tortured him on the other hand.
“It is not possible to honour MKO Abiola in one breath and admire his tormentor in another breath. Loyalty is all very well but loyalty can be preserved if that loyalty is retained to an individual if he were alive today, will be before the International Court of Crimes Against Humanity,” he said further.
Continuing on the human rights violations supervised by the Abacha-led government, Soyinka said, “One who broke the laws of Nigeria and broke International Laws, pauperized this nation, committed crimes against humanity, it is confusing if loyalty, professional loyalty is carried so far as to be accorded to that individual.”
The Professor also requests the inauguration of a hall of shame for those who had opposed the June 12 election.
“Today is a day to inaugurate our hall of shame so as we have the hall of heroes on the one hand we also have the hall of shame to show a lesson to the future generation but your apology has been most touching on behalf of the Nigerian people. I am sure most of the Nigerians will agree with me.”
He also does not want the event to be a close ended one but one that should continually remember the heroes of the struggle. “It is a beginning, I do not agree this is the closure of the events of June 12, We had too many traumatised individuals walking around the streets as a result of the attitude and policies of one of the most brutal dictators if not the most brutal, in fact the most brutal dictator that this nation has ever known.
“All I want to say is that we do not forget the nameless, the unsung heroes and heroines of that struggle. A lot of names have been listed, I like to include one of the pioneers, the instigators with our dictator, Comrade Ola Oni who mobilized a number of young people and fought the goons, the surrogate of the dictator to a stand-still at that stadium named Liberty Stadium at Ibadan.”
He however closed by paying a special tribute to the late MKO Abiola. “Above all I want us all to remember that individual who we are principally celebrating today, the man who represented himself, a man who did not understand the word ‘surrender,’ saying my name is Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, I am back to reclaim my mandate.”