Professor Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Laureate has said that Nigerians are paying for the consequences of impunity because it was permitted.
For him(Soyinka), the leadership and the followership are guilty of encouraging impunity in the country.
This was contained in his remarks at the the24th edition of the Wole Soyinka Lecture series organized by the National Association of Seadogs(PyratesConfraternity) held via zoom with the theme National conference Against Impunity. He noted that all events that have overtaken and overwhelm Nigeria are traceable to impunity.
According to Soyinka, the topic was timely considering that it was instructive for Nigerians, adding that it is not late to reverse the trend.
‘’ I would probably expect that from different perspectives in terms of timing, there might be disagreement. I am absolutely certain that we would agree that one of the major reasons for the dilemma we are undergoing in this country right now is that we permitted, we nurtured, we even encouraged either by actions or inactions, the mindset of impunity both in leadership and among the people.. We ourselves allowed it. We watched it happened. We didn’t take to the streets to protest it, to denounce it, to warn of the consequences. Oh Yes, there were warnings here and there but they were not concerted and structured. So it is not too late to reverse the trend. But at least, we must first begin a frank, honest, objective dialogue’’.
Professor Patrick Lumumba, the keynote speaker, in his paper delivered at the occasion, stated that the issue of impunity is not peculiar to Nigeria alone but to the African Continent.
He lamented that instead of being enraged by impunity, Nigerians and Africans have rewarded corrupt leaders with re-election.
‘’It is pertinent to ask why Nigeria which had such great promise continues to wallow in the lower rungs of human development. Why are Africans and Nigerians silent in the face of impunity? Why in the words of Wole Soyinka has the man in us died,’’? Lumumba said.
According to him, the people should hold themselves responsible for refusing to act and being part of the misfortune that has befallen the country.
‘’Despite the impunity by our public office holders, by some miracles, we are not enraged! It seems that we have lost the gift of disgust. Why is this so, who cursed us?
‘’We are the co-authors of our own misfortunes because we have lost our values and now resort to religion. We now choose to apply faith instead of logic, elevating the principle of’ Donothingnism’.
We have created leaders who have arrogated themselves the monopoly of wisdom and the country is now run in a narrow and primordial fashion, he added.
Lumumba however, said in the midst of gloom, Nigerians must remain hopeful and ensure impunity does not triumph by developing the attitude to holding their leaders accountable.
Source: The Sun