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I don't regret my support for Buhari, says Soyinka

10 December 2015, 13:48

Lagos - Nigeria's Nobel Prize winning author Wole Soyinka has strongly defended his decision to support President Muhammadu Buhari during the March presidential elections.

Soyinka said he did not regret his support for Buhari.

The Nobel laureate said this during an interview on Channels Television programme, Channels Books’ Club.

He said Nigeria would have disintegrated if former president Goodluck Jonathan had remained president.

Soyinka said: “We were left with two credible contestants in terms of catchment area for the nation. We had reached, in my view, the bottom. I became convinced that if this country underwent four more years under president Jonathan, the country would run aground completely. I looked at the record and said this cannot go on, this has to stop.

“Then I looked at this man who had contested elections three times before and said he would not contest anymore and then decided to throw his hat in the ring.”

“And after weighing all the options, I said let’s try a new one.

Watch the video below as Soyinka speaks

Soyinka also confessed that he used to have a bad impression of Buhari, who he once described as a “devil for whom in my calculation, no spoon existed long enough to justify the risk even of an impromptu snack".

When asked if he was completely satisfied with Buhari’s six months in office, Soyinka said he was not totally satisfied.

He, however, said Buhari had proven that there was such a thing as a born again democrat Biafra agitation.

Soyinka said he hoped the country would stay intact, adding that there was need to the government to approach the Biafra agitation in a more diplomatic way.

He said every ethnic groups should be made to feel like a part of the country and good old dialogue is the way to go.

Dialogue between government and agitators

“I wrote an article during the war that Biafra cannot be defeated. People misunderstood what I was saying.

“Once an idea has taken hold, you cannot destroy that idea. You may destroy the people, the carriers of that idea on the battle field but ultimately it’s not the end of the story.

As part of efforts to solve the Biafra issue, Soyinka called for a dialogue between the government and the agitators.

Let’s not take this position of ‘don’t even talk about it’, ‘under my watch this will never happen’, don’t say things like that. Go into that environment and ask ‘what is it that we can do to make you happy and feel part of this entity?’

- News24


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