By Japhet Alakam
LAGOS—NOBEL Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka has, distanced himself from internet interview, which claimed he has endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan for re-election, saying he has 60 reasons why he will not vote for the continuation of this regime.
Soyinka who spoke yesterday during the presentation of 60 finalists of the Vision of the Child Competition entitled: Road to Sambisa at the Freedom Park, Lagos, also urged Nigerians to search their conscience and be objective before casting their votes for any of the candidates.
Addressing the students from various schools across the country, Professor Soyinka said: ‘’It is impossible to talk of today’s election without thinking of what happened to your colleagues, your siblings, your peers in the village called Chibok. It is not possible to think of the future of this nation in the sense of responsibility without that albatross called Chibok. Coming to the fore of our contemplation, I think that why I was being killed on the internet is probably because of this very event because those who began to advertise my death on the internet probably know already what I stand for over the election which is also why all kinds of statements have been made.’’
Soyinka used the occasion to clear the air on statements credited to him about the elections. He said ‘’I have never spoken a word about this election so anything which you read on the internet as interviews or recent statements is not mine. Don’t believe it. The reason is this, they advertised on the internet that I am dead, so why should you believe it?’’
He continued: ‘’I have at least 60 reasons for not voting for the continuation of this present government and those reasons are here.
Why I will not vote for this government or encourage anybody to vote for the continuation of this present government is simply because your colleagues, numbering over 200 were kidnapped; we sent them on a mission – education, enlightenment, examination, to rub minds with their peers and they disappeared and the government of the nation failed to show leadership. So, anybody who says that I will vote or cast my vote or encourage anyone to vote for this regime must be living in Sambisa forest.
‘’There has been failure of leadership. Our children who you represent today have been betrayed. They were betrayed because no action or appropriate action was taken to retrieve your colleagues who were stolen from under our noses, 10 days before this government even accepted that they were missing.”