Buhari Has Squashed Eggs On Our Faces – Prof Soyinka, Says Kukah Is Right

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Wole SoyinkaNobel Laurette, Professor Wole Soyinka has backed the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah over his Easter Sunday sermon which strongly criticized President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for ruining Nigeria.

Kukah had, in the stinging sermon, lamented the state of Nigeria and Nigerians and gave a verdict: Everything has broken down. The Presidency, in responses by Presidential spokespersons, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, accused Kukah of spreading hatred.

But in backing Bishop Kukah in a statement Tuesday, where he also decried the Presidential pardon granted to two former Governors, Joshua Dariye of Plateau State, and Jolly Nyame of Taraba State, Professor Soyinka said President Buhari gave “A putrid Presidential Easter egg, squashed on the faces of Nigerians.”

A statement released on   Tuesday, titled, “A putrid Presidential Easter Egg” noted that he could not miss an opportunity to add his own voice to Bishop Kukah’s sermon and the Presidential pardon granted Dariye and Nyame.

The statement read in part:

“Easter Greetings to you, Rev (Bishop) Mathew Kukah, and to all your followers. All has been said, I think. I am impelled, however, not to miss an opportunity to add my own Easter drop to the overflowing vessel of pietistic sentiments if only to reassure Christians – and also Moslems in turn — that even we, non-believers, do partake of that same ethical communion to which most humanities aspire. Also, your Easter sermon opens up, again, those sluices of juridical hypocrisy to which we dare not cease to draw attention.

“Such, in the immediate, remains the plight of two young men – Mubarak Bala and the musician Yahaya Sharif – one serving a sentence of twenty-five years, the other actually sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy.

“That word ‘blasphemy’ comes into its authentic mode, in my view, whenever anyone violates a solemn oath of office. Its penitentially becomes even redoubled when such violators are pampered with the prerogative of mercy.

“Permit me to call special attention to the following from your sermon:

‘Religious leaders…. must face the reality that here in Nigeria and elsewhere around the world, millions of people are leaving Christianity and Islam. While we are busy building walls of division with the blocks of prejudice, our members are becoming atheists, but we prefer to pretend that we do not see this. We cannot pretend not to hear the footsteps of our faithful marching away into atheism and secularism. No threats can stop this, but dialogue can open our hearts.’ Suggesting that government actions may have forced more Nigerians to become atheists, Soyinka continued:

“No pardon has been extended in the direction of endangered, youthful integrity. Of course, it is easy to track the trajectory of events. Nettled by increasingly scabrous comments, such as those of his predecessor in office, Olusegun Obasanjo, who declared that this incumbent has run out of ideas, that he has nothing left to offer the nation, Muhammad Buhari decided to embark on the Easter train and donate an Easter egg of truly presidential proportions to his subjects.

“Coming from a leader who had placed all his eggs in one basket, labeled Anti-Corruption, this is one egg squashed against Nigerian faces that they shall not forget – or wipe off – in a hurry. It evokes the legend of Pandora’s box whose contents are alleged to constitute all the ills that plague the world. Putrid to the core, allied to power provocations in numerous variations, such as catapulting a notorious player in the martyrdom of a serving Minister of Justice to the hub of the governance wheel, these define the nature of bequests that have brought the nation to this moment of near dissolution.

“Precedents are no consolation, no excuses. One states the obvious in remarking that precedents either undermine or reinforce principles, and aspiring offenders, especially in the political domain, are encouraged or inhibited by the ease or difficulty of access to the fount of mercy.

“Officeholders, we presume, are constrained by the existence of that dangling Sword of Damocles – simply knowing that one day, the cloak of immunity will turn threadbare, and the awaited day of reckoning finds them answerable. Clearly, not any longer.’’

He concluded: “You will forgive, though disagree with me, I know, for clambering onto the Easter wagon myself, to echo the words of the one whose passage through the world the Easter season commemorates: “It is finished!”

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