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Stop the fallacy, Nigeria’s unity is negotiable, Soyinka chides Osinbajo

Stop the fallacy, Nigeria's unity is negotiable, Soyinka chides Osinbajo

Nigeria’s literary icon and Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, on Friday disagreed with the position held by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other Nigerians who claim that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable.

The non-negotiability of Nigeria has remained the positions of different administrations in the past including the President Muhammadu Buhari-led current Federal Government.

Following agitation for Biafra by some groups in the South East, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has continuously made it clear that Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable.

On June 25, he had while addressing Muslim leaders in the State House said, “Our unity is not negotiable. We should make sure that we remain united in order to enjoy the resources God has blessed Nigeria with. So many nations envy what we have as a nation.”

But speaking in Bayelsa on Friday, Soyinka argued that the unity of Nigeria as a nation is an issue that must be debated so as to address lingering issues of marginalization.

He said, “The claim that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable is a false statement,” Mr. Soyinka said. “The right of the people to determine their future is what is non-negotiable.”

The Nobel laureate was in Bayelsa to join the state governor, Seriake Dickson, in the commissioning of a new high school, Ijaw National Academy, in Kaiama, Bayelsa State.

Soyinka who listened with rapt attention as one of the female students recited one of his poems “Abiku,” later had a brief exchange with the students on his exploits as a renowned writer.

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Afterwards, Soyinka lashed out at those insisting that Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable.

He said, “Don’t tell me that Nigeria, as it is, is non-negotiable. To me, that’s a fallacy.

“Negotiation involves ensuring that there’s no marginalisation. Negotiation involves ensuring that the major components of the country are not feeding on the centre.”

Reiterating his belief in the unity of Nigeria, Professor Soyinka cautioned against opposition to the mounting demand for the restructuring of Nigeria.

He said those against restructuring should stop being ‘dogmatic and dictatorial ‘in their stand.

By Ebere Ndukwu …


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About the author

Ebere Ndukwu

Ebere is a lover of investigative journalism, always seeking to unearth the hidden.

  • Anita Kingsley

    God bless this man for Biafrans. It is not a must for us all to remain as Nigerians, as a matter of fact, Biarans won’t reside in Nigeria anymore before the end of this year. Enough is enough, the government should stop deceiving Nigerians for its own benefit. This system of government isn’t working for the masses but those in government alone and we are tired!

    • seyi jelili

      OK, I laugh at your foolishness, who will grant Biafra to the extent you are saying this year. Your vision is big but blur

  • Animashaun Ayodeji

    I’m really disappointed in Soyinka! With all the academic titles vested on him, he has still failed to think like a reasonable human being. Nigeria’s unity can never, and will never be negotiable. With what we have as a people, we can never utilize them when separated. What we need not is seriousness, dedication and service to the people of Nigeria, not some break up.

    • Abeni Adebisi

      You sounded so serious like you as a common Nigeria is part of this government. And YES! Soyinka is very right, we’ll negotiate the unity of Nigeria, we cannot keep having a government where the citizens have no say at all. Our voices must count if Nigeria will keep being in one piece and that starts from restructuring that everyone wants.

  • yanju omotodun

    An atheist will always remain shallow in thinking, wole Soyinka is too full of himself. Nigeria’s unity remains nonnegotiable


      Foolish talk. Too much book makes people mad but prof Soyinka know what he is relaying to us. We can’t live as one, we have to split