n an interview with the Uk Guardian, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka painted the sorry picture of a helpless President Jonathan who is ostensibly surrounded by aides holding him captive.
Soyinka said until he told Jonathan about what was turning out to be an embarrassing diplomatic spat between Morocco and Nigeria, the President didn’t know that the Moroccans had recalled their ambassador from Nigeria over a telephone conversation that never was. The Moroccan royal palace said the king had declined a request for a phone conversation, while Nigeria insisted that the two leaders had spoken at length. Nigeria later backed down and admitted the conversation did not happen, wrote the Guardian.
“Here is a situation where a president did not even know that a foreign country, a friendly country, had withdrawn its ambassador from Nigeria. I was the one who told him. He jumped up as if his seat was on fire. I couldn’t believe it … He was not aware that for about five days the media had been absolutely hysterical with this embarrassing situation between the two. It was that very night that he made a public statement about it for the first time”, Soyinka recalls.
“So when I say that there is a force around, I know what I’m talking about. There is a very sinister force in control and it is that sinister cabal which is responsible for caging him in and showing him what they think he should know about and keeping away from him things which are not in their interest, and this for me is the most dangerous situation that any nation can be in.”
The man of letters also said the ongoing general elections have become a shamble and the build up, an embarrassing spectacle.
“Most expensive, most prodigal, wasteful, senseless, I mean really insensitive in terms of what people live on in this country,” Soyinka continued. “This was the real naira-dollar extravaganza, spent on just subverting, shall we say, the natural choices of people. Just money instead of argument, instead of position statements.
“And of course the sponsoring of violence in various places, in addition to this festive atmosphere in which every corner, every pillar, every electric pole is adorned with one candidate or the other, many of them in poses which remind one of Nollywood.
“I get a feeling sometimes that some of these candidates were just locked in their wardrobes and they were told: ‘Just take selfies in there and don’t come out until you’ve finished the entire wardrobe.’ All kinds of postures. Just ridiculous. It has been an embarrassing exercise in terms of electioneering,” Soyinka said.