BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT— NOBEL laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has described the murder of four students of the University of Port Harcourt as the height of man’s inhumanity to man.
Soyinka, who spoke yesterday, in Port Harcourt, at the public presentation of Port Harcourt as UNESCO World Book Capital for 2014, said it was painful watching the video clips of how the students were butchered.
He said it was worrisome that the killing took place before silent spectators and passive participants in the community, adding that the incident was another indication that there was war between the forces of darkness and light in the country.
Soyinka noted that Boko Haram and other allied movements waging war against civility and enlightenment were fighting against humanity.
The literary icon advised the country not to succumb to forces of evil.
Congratulating Port Harcourt for hosting the World Book Capital for 2014, he said the development had brought honour to the nation and Africa in general.
He said: “I believe, quite frankly that this country is at war. The war is between the forces of darkness and the forces of light; the forces of intellect, the forces of rationality and the forces of atavism, retrograde thinking and the forces of hatred against humanism.
“I believe that if we surrender to these banal forces in our society, we cease to be human beings because we succumb completely to fear and it is the same message we must take to those in this nation, who believe that books are wrong.
“I don’t care whether they call themselves the final defenders of the pure road and the ultimate salvation or call themselves Boko Haram.
“Boko Haram and all organisations, all movements that wage war against books, against literacy, against education and enlightenment in any form, have declared war, not on the state, but on humanity itself and in spite of such setbacks, in spite of such horrors, we have the responsibility to support and sustain efforts such as that being made by Rainbow Club and allied societies and organisations.”