Rivers State House Of Assembly Crisis: Curb Your Wife’s Excesses,Prof Wole Soyinka Tells President Jonathan

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene because the general perception is that he has a hand in the crisis. Speaking at a press briefing tagged “A Presidential Emergency: A People Under Siege,” in Lagos, on Thursday, Soyinka decried what he called “President Jonathan’s indifference to the political imbroglio.” Soyinka, who was flanked by human rights activist and lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), said the Rivers crisis, if not quickly brought under control, would lead the country into “absolute monarchism” and cited the 1170 AD murder of St. Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury on the order of King Henry II for refusing to give the monarchy power over the church. Although Soyinka admitted that Becket’s death made him a martyr to followers of the Catholic faith, the crisis in Rivers did not follow tow that path. See more After Cut>>>>>>

“Why do I refer to the situation in Rivers State as a presidential emergency?” Soyinka asked rhetorically while explaining that “reading the papers I saw that the President’s spokesmen, as usual, have been trying to distance him from what is happening in Rivers State. That is their job and I wish them luck. But they have to understand, and the President has to understand that the perception up there in the world, not mainly in the nation, is that he bears a vicarious responsibility at the very least for what is happening in Rivers State.” The Nobel Laureate argued that there was a certain way a leader could convey certain coded messages to followers and they would be acted upon accordingly. He noted that though Mr. Jonathan might not have openly showed support for what is going on, his comportment, his carriage and most especially, his indifference might have indicated his complicity in the matter.According to Soyinka, this is the time for the Federal Government to galvanise Nigerians to tackle terrorism that is destroying the country’s future including the “illegality” going on in Rivers State. Specifically, he condemned the perceived tacit support of the President’s wife to a group of lawmakers considered to be anti-Amaechi and urged the President to call his wife to order saying, “too much is too much, she is now being used to reduce the authority of an elected governor.” Soyinka also implored the media to be wary of the way those who imposed themselves as leaders are reported, noting that the mental attitude of Nigerians should be nurtured by the media. He noted that if Nigerians could refer to Biafra in quotes, there should not be any reason why the illegal speaker, in reference to Mr. Evans Bipi, should not be written in small letters. “The media should refer to him in small letters with a quotation, then you put self-declared in front of it while you refer to the real one as elected because you were there, INEC was there. Stop treating this clown as an equal of the elected speaker. Doing that is to programme yourself to the fait accompli which makes you an accomplice. You too have a responsibility of putting everything in the right perspective,” Soyinka said.

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