Ethnic agitation: Soyinka scorns Nigerian elites, politicians

...says the masses should unite, revolt


Following the rising cases of ethnic agitation currently trending in the country, the popular Nigerian literary scholar, Prof. Wole Soyinka has taken Nigerian elites and politicians to the gutters, scorning and accusing them of being responsible for what seems like ethnic tension in the country.

The Noble Laureate, mostly described as the William Shakespeare of our time, made the subtle attack on politicians in his nonidentical (length wise) 13 stanza poetic contemplation posted on a Facebook platform, “The Naija Progressives” last Thursday at 16:17 hours.

Most known for his complex use of language, the prolific writer who may have intended communicating easily, for the first time, barred his mind in a simple presentation, saying the problem of Nigeria, instead of being an ethnic agitation, was “the unity of the elites and the disunity of the masses”.

He questioned those who seemed to be blowing “ethnic trumpet” on why they refused to enquire from state governors who were “spending bailout fund and building mansions everywhere, noting sadly that ‘strong bond’ of love existed among Governors, Presidents, Senators, high public office holders and even looters of public funds, while persistent hatred and bitterness abided among the dregs of the society.

Soyinka, whose central message was “building one Nigeria”, pointed out that as “the fight was being cooked”, even when the President was out of the country, with Ministers and senators taking their time to “loot” the nation dry, in spite of non payment of workers’ salaries, maintained that members of the high class were behind Nigeria’s problem.

He stressed that in the event of any war, the rich would defeat the poor since they have the resources to fly abroad where their children were currently schooling, leaving the poor as victims and called for the unity of the masses so as to revolt against the elites who have caused all the troubles in the country.

Some of the stanzas of the poem read thus:
“The Ibos want Biafra
The North wants Ibo’s exit
The Yorubas want Ibo’s exit
The Ibos are saying “we have investments in your areas and cannot leave them”
And the fight is being cooked.

“Amongst all these, the President is in London
Governors are sharing bailout funds
Workers salaries are not paid
Government officials have their children schooling abroad
Ministers and senators are looting

“The poor Hausa man is riding Okada
The poor Ibo man is riding Okada
The poor Yoruba man is riding Okada

“The poor Hausa man sleeps under the bridge as Alamajiri
The poor Yoruba man sleeps under the bridge as Alaye
The poor Ibo man sleeps under the bridge as agbero

“It is pertinent to note that the poor from all ethnic groups in Nigeria have everything in common and so is the rich.

“Do not allow the agitation of an Ibo man who lives in UK or USA for Biafra cause the killing of the Ibo man in Adamawa. The rich hate us that much.
Do not allow the Alhaji whose children are living abroad to persuade you to go and start killing on the street of Kaduna.

“The problem in the country is not the agitation of any ethnic group but the unity of the elite and the disunity of the masses.

“Sad to note;
All the Governors love themselves
All the past Presidents love themselves
All the senators love themselves
All the top government officials love themselves
All the looters love themselves

“Why can’t you and  I love ourselves?
Why cant we combine efforts and fight them?
Why do we fight ourselves?
Why do we allow them the freedom we don’t have?



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