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Rivers: Soyinka warns Jonathan

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, Monday, took a critical look at the series of events happening in Rivers State over the face-off between Governor Rotimi Amaechi and The Presidency and warned that the situation has reached an unsustainable level.

Prof. Soyinka, in a statement issued, yesterday, entitled: “Cool it, President Goodluck Jonathan,” urged the President to break the culture of executive impunity in Rivers State.

Said he: “The increasing flash points in the nation have reached an unsustainable level, and responsible governance must accept that it is an urgent duty to diminish, not increase them.

“Even the notoriously short Nigerian memory remains traumatised by recollection of the rape of Anambra that was enabled by the connivance of federal might, and the abandonment of all moral scruples in executive disposition.


“The people of Ogun State were humiliated by the antics of a power besotted governor, with their elected legislators locked out of the National Assembly for upwards of a year. That hideous travesty was again made possible by the abusive use of the police.

“Even a child in this nation  knows that the police derive its enabling and operational authority from the dictates of the centre, so there can be no disguising whose will is being executed wherever democratic norms are flouted and the people’s rights ground to mush under dictatorial heels.

“Before the  irretrievable point of escalation is reached, we have a duty to sound a collective alarm, even without the lessons of past violations of constitutional rights and apportionments of elected representatives of the people, and their consequences.

“There is an opportunity in Rivers  State to break this spiraling culture of executive impunity – manifested in both subtle and crude ways – that is fast becoming the norm in a post-military dispensation that fitfully aspires to be  called a democracy.

It will be recalled two weeks ago Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, suspended 27 members of the State House of Assembly and declared their seats in the House vacant.

The House was scheduled to resume sitting yesterday but had to adjourn indefinitely because of fears that there would be break down of law and order while the lawmakers called for the redeployment of the state commissioner of police for his alleged involvement in the crisis.


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