Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has condemned soldiers’ shooting on #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, saying Nigeria has returned to the era of former Military Head of State, Sani Abacha.
He also called on Governors of states where curfews were declared in wake of violence, to demand the withdrawal of soldiers immediately.
Soyinka said this on Wednesday in a statement titled “DÉJÀ VU – In Tragic Vein”, personally signed and issued in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The literary icon said with the shooting which “inflicted a near incurable wound on the community psyche”, the Army had “replaced” the defunct Special Anti Robbery Squads (SARS).
“This is Back to Abacha – in grotesque replay!
“It is absolutely essential to let this government know that the Army has now replaced SARS in the demonic album of the protesters. My enquiry so far indicates that the Lagos governor did not invite in the Army, did not complain of a ‘breakdown in law and order’,” Soyinka said.
While noting that 24-hour curfews declared by some governors are not the solution, he urged them to take over the security of the people “with whatever resources you can rummage.”
Soyinka said “To the affected governors all over the nation, there is one immediate step to take: demand the withdrawal of those soldiers. Convoke Town Hall meetings as a matter of urgency. 24-hr Curfews are not the solution.
“Take over the security of your people with whatever resources you can rummage. Substitute community self-policing based on Local Councils, to curb hooligan infiltration and extortionist and destructive opportunism.
“We commiserate with the bereaved and urge state governments to compensate material losses, wherever. To commence any process of healing at all – dare one assume that this is the ultimate destination of desire?
“The Army must apologize, not merely to the nation but to the global community – the facts are indisputable – you, the military, opened fire on unarmed civilians. There has to be structured restitution and assurance that such aberrations will not again be recorded.
“Then both governance and its security arms can commence a meaningful, lamentably overdue dialogue with society. Do not attempt to dictate — Dialogue!”