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Tinubu, Govs Should Stop Taking Nigerians For A Ride – Soyinka

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Tinubu, Govs Should Stop Taking Nigerians For A Ride - Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has called on President Bola Tinubu and State Governors to desist from taking citizens as fools amid the economic hardship in the nation.

The playwright stated that government at all levels should be closer to the people and called for the decentralisation of the country.

Soyinka, who was a guest speaker, stated this at The Punch’s 50th-anniversary lecture, themed ‘Recovering the Narrative.’

He said: “It’s about time leaders stop taking us for a ride so that the government can come close to the people.

“We don’t want the nation to break, the nation is breaking informally. Let nations die so that humanity may live. I don’t like to use the word restructuring.

“Politicians understand the terms when they are not in office but turn to something else when they assume office. It is the same thing with reconstruction, and it is time to look into it because it is not a slogan.”

Speaking further, the Nobel Laureate said decentralising the federal government power is the best way to maximise development in Nigeria.

Soyinka said Nigerian leaders recognise the importance of decentralisation until they get into power and abandon it.

He noted that palliatives are temporary stop-gap policies that do not reach the heart of the problem, noting that only decentralised development can help.

Soyinka added that decentralisation will bring power closer to the people,e noting that “productivity can really be manifested as a product of citizens, not simply as a manna from heaven”.

He said: “What do you mean by restructuring? Well, I don’t even like the word restructuring. I use, I prefer expressions like reconfiguration and decentralisation.

“Everybody can grasp that, decentralisation. And those who lead, recognise the necessity of it. They recognise the importance, almost the inevitability of it until they get into power, yes, that’s the difference.

“Reconfiguration, decentralisation, all these are necessary to maximise development. We speak about food hunger, which is real, but palliatives are temporary stop-gap policies that do not reach the heart of the problem, which is why we must decentralise development as massively as possible.

“It’s about time, I think leaders, stopped taking this nation for a ride, you know, we must decentralise. Security, you know, has become a burden to bear. From all corners of the nation, that is the crime.

“Decentralised so that government can come closer to the people, and productivity can really be manifested as a product of citizens, not simply as a manna from heaven. That is the attitude obtained at the moment.

“I know the fear. The fear is collapse, break up. That’s been the excuse given by several regimes. But suppose the nation is breaking up informally, in other words, as a fact rather than as a theory.”



Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.