Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, said on Monday the recent abduction of several students at the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, was a slap across the face for President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement he issued in reaction to the students’ abduction and titled: “INFRADIG–A presidential comeuppance,” the playwright also decried the worsening insecurity in the country, insisting that the president was not in charge of his government.
According to him, when President Buhari was summoned by the National Assembly to address the lawmakers on the rising insecurity in the country, he didn’t initially consider the summon as below the standard of behaviour.
He stated the president considered the invitation as a polite invitation to preserve the “tattered remains of his ‘Born-Again’ democratic camouflage.”
The Nobel laureate said: “That, to come to the present, constituted General Buhari’s response to the National Assembly’s invitation to drop in for a chat. He did not consider it infradig at the beginning. He responded to the polite invitation to rub minds urgently over a people’s security anxieties as one who still struggled to preserve the tattered remains of his ‘Born-Again’ democratic camouflage.
“However, his reversal of consent raised yet again the frightening situation report I have fervently posed: Buhari is not in charge. Whoever is, that segment of the cabalistic control obviously cornered him on the way to the lawmakers’ chambers and urged: Don’t! Their invitation is infradig! He succumbed.
“Beneath the dignity of a Commander-in-Chief! Well. The opportunistic homicidal respondents -Bandits/Boko Haram or whoever – thereupon picked up the gauntlet and provided a response in their own language: abduction once again of the nation’s children. They handed him (Buhari) a slap across the face, on his home terrain, taunting: See if that is more suited to your dignity.”
Soyinka noted that he joined other people in using the word “Infra dignitatem” to any situation indicating assailing his dignity or statement unworthy of response.
He added: “Once, the word featured prominently in the repertory of Nigerian shorthand diction. Indeed, I grew up thinking that it was only one word, not two, and assumed also that it was English, not Latin: infra dignitatem!
“I joined others in applying the shorthand to any situation where I felt that my dignity was assailed, that a chore was beneath my status, an individual beneath notice or a statement unworthy of response. Sometimes of course, it came useful when one could not think of an adequate response. Then, carrying myself as I had seen others do, I hissed, shook my head in disdain, and walked away as I spat out the ultimate sanction: Infradig!”
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