By AbdulSalam Muhammad
Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, Monday signified his readiness to join Nigerians on a street protest to the country seat of power to press for the actualization of the Justice Uwais report on Electoral Reform.
Soyinka, who spoke in Kano shortly after paying what he called â€˜a solidarity visit to Governor Ibrahim Shekarau as the last man standingâ€™ explained that for it remain the only hope to sidetrack and protect Nigerian democracy.
â€œPeople have been collecting signature trying to tell Yarâ€™Adua to stop messing around with the document which is as a result of a careful analysis of the situation, the result of the experience of the pastâ€, Soyinka said
He stated that the Justice Uwais report on Electoral Reform is a document that carefully analyzed the Nigerian situation against the backdrop of the past experience, pointing out that ”itâ€™s the only document that can ensure a free and fair democratic process.
â€œThe reform has to come to be, and a lot depend on all of you, if it comes to marching to Aso Rock and insisting that the reform should be followed, all of you have the responsibility to do so, and if you are ready am readyâ€, the Nobel Laureate on Literature stressed.
Soyinka lamented that the country was speedily losing its democratic direction, adding that there were signs of a determined effort to turn this nation to a one party state.
He indicted former president Olusegun Obasanjo for desecrating the sanctity of electoral process during his years in office, maintaining that the gross violation of democratic principle and ethos was designed to turn the country into a one party state.
Soyinka noted that there were no differences between one party state and a military dictatorship, maintaining that dictatorship is one and same even in civilian garb.
â€œI donâ€™t see the difference between one party state and a military dictatorship, dictatorship is dictatorshipâ€™, Soyinka maintained.
The Elder Statesman commended Gov. Shekarau for choosing to respect his electoral mandate and remaining in his party despite the fact that everyone was joining the train.
â€œWe symbolically and morally lent solidarity to the governor who finds honour in respecting the mandate given by the people. I am glad to meet the last man standing in this region,â€
Before departing Kano, Soyinka gave a word of encouragement to leaders of the guest community resident in Kano to be law-abiding citizens at a meeting at the Government House and enjoined them to contribute their quota for the development of the state.