Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has called on states in Nigeria to shut down in protest if the next student, after those of Niger and Zamfara, is kidnapped by bandits.
Soyinka, who was reacting to the recent spate of abductions across the country, spoke during the launch of his latest novel “Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth” in Abeokuta on Saturday.
ChannelsTV reports that the literature professor said such abductions were unacceptable and “drastic, meaningful measures” must be taken in unison.
“The abductions of our children, when will it end, how will it end? I don’t think anyone of us can tell,” he said. “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 – 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 states, 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,” he said.