School abductions: We are very close to accepting a culture of the unacceptable – Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka has expressed how disappointed he is with the increased school abductions in the country. 

Soyinka who spoke during an award lecture and public presentation of his latest book, ‘Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth’, held in Ogun state on Saturday February 27, said Nigerians are close to accepting a culture of the unacceptable. 

The nobel laureate accused those at the top of failing and also added that there is no point in trying to reason it out, to find excuses and to lay blame.

He said; 

“The abductions of our children, when will it end; how will it end? I don’t think anyone of us can tell. But it is important that we continue to stress and to remind ourselves that, not only are these abnormal times, but it seems to be, to me anyway, times of the shirking of responsibility in very key areas. 

“We cannot permit ourselves — we just cannot — to continue in this fashion. Something drastic, meaningful has to take place, and it has to be collective.

“This is no longer the responsibility of those at the top (who are) supposed to be in charge of security, in charge of governance; they have clearly failed the populace. They’ve failed us. There is no point in trying to reason it out, to find excuses, to lay blame.

“The important thing is that we are very close to accepting a culture of the unacceptable.

“I think we are reaching the point where, in any state where any child is kidnapped, that state should shut down completely. And other state, in solidarity, should at least shut down some of their activities.

“We shouldn’t wait for an enemy, faceless, airborne, unpredictable enemy like COVID, to make us shut down. In protest and as a statement of the unacceptable, we are shutting ourselves down until this situation is resolved.

“Sounds extreme, but we don’t know what else one can propose at this particular time. Yes, life must go on, but even those activities will generate and enhance our very existence.”

Expressing hope of the recently abducted Jangebe schoolgirls being rescued and reunited with their families, Soyinka stated that he is concerned with the permanence of those scars on our collective psyche. 

He added; 

“We’ll get those children back; I know that. It is a price we pay and the consequence, the permanence of those scars on our collective psyche — that is what worries me.”

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