BY GBENGA OLARINOYE
OSOGBO— Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, yesterday in Osogbo, declared that the country was in need of competent leaders to confront, among others, the security challenges facing the country.
He said the security challenges facing the country could not be solved by prayers, but by leaders with capacity to deal with the situation without partisanship.
Soyinka suggested that learning from the history of nations that had faced similar situations could help Nigeria survive her present security challenges.
Soyinka, who was a keynote speaker at a colloquium with the theme Fundamental Imperatives of Cohabitation, Faith and Secularism, organised by Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, CBCIU, Osogbo, called for a frank talk among stakeholders in the affairs of the country to end the spate of bombings.
According to Soyinka, who said he received with shock the news of Nyanya Motor Park bombing, authorities concerned must arrest the situation.
Debunking a newspaper report, which quoted him as saying the nation’s security challenges could be resolved through prayers, Soyinka posited that Boko Haram insurgency should not be mistaken for a religious war, insisting that prayers alone could not end the crises.
He said: ”I have never said prayer can help resolve the security challenges facing Nigeria.
“I believe the situation must be tackled without partisanship and all these uninformed comments cannot help the situation.
“We should wake up to the reality. Nigeria is in war and only competence can solve the problem, not prayers.”
At the event, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State said the only way to respect God was by showing respect to human beings, emphasising the need for people to accommodate others’ religions.