Professor Wole Soyinka, the Nobel laureate, has urged the Buhari administration to adopt a new strategy in the war against the Boko Haram insurgency and terrorism in general, in order to achieve results.Soyinka made the appeal in a lecture titled “Science and imagination in a temple of knowledge”, at the Kwara State University, Malete, on June 6, Saturday.
The Nobel laureate noted that the new administration had not adopted a new strategy yet. Therefore Nigerians were still to witness the expected change.
Soyinka challenged the government to do more to end insecurity in Nigeria, warning that “the temple of learning may soon be eroded”.
He also dedicated a big part of his speech to the issue of the missing Chibok girls.
“I will like to suggest that both nationally and internationally, the iconic image and symbol of the struggle we are still undergoing today remains the image of numbers of young school pupils whom we handed over to the enemies of education. All of them are still missing; I will like to suggest that the iconic image of that struggle is the photographs of those young pupils in the open air taken by the brutal captors and broadcast all over the newspapers, international media, YouTube, internet etc.
“That image which was published so widely and was taken by their enemies in a gloating manner was meant to strike at our self-consciousness as human beings, as parents and as citizens. I don’t know about other people but that image hurts me even up till today, even when I am not looking at it.
“It is an irony in these days and age especially if one considers another image. Today is known as the age of internet when information flies across space without physical intervention, where reality has taken over the age of fantasy; that it is the same age where self-appointed, sanctimonious interpreters of the will of God in countries like Somalia decree that human beings engaging in handshake with the opposite sex must have their hands amputated.
“The kidnapped pupils were potential doctors when we sent them to take their first qualifying examination; up till today we cannot say whether they are alive, whether they are in slavery or had been sold off. All we know is that they have been dehumanised, brutalised and their childhood taken away from them. Sometime I wonder whether we are speaking of a remote, newly discovered planet or we are speaking of this very planet on which you and I are standing today.
“Their captors are not without knowledge; they have learnt how to make bombs. They pride themselves in killing and maiming in absolute fidelity to corrupted ideology. They may have acquired even the most rudimentary knowledge of how humanity makes those weapons of destruction but they have failed to acquire how humanity sticks together as beings of the same species; they exist on fragmented zones devoid of any holistic crack of the human phenomenon in its entirety.”
It is not the first time Soyinka has spoken on the issues of Boko Haram and the Chibok girls in recent months.
In March the famous writer predicted that it would take almost a generation to get rid of Boko Haram, even if victory by force may soon be achieved.
Also on April 14, Soyinka criticised the government on the insufficient intensity of efforts to rescue the Chibok girls from Boko Haram captivity.