Prof. Wole Sonyinka while speaking recently on a BBC Programme, ‘Hard Talk’, said that his generation has failed Nigerians.
The Noble Laureate noted that the dreams his generation had about the country did not materialize.
“Has your generation of older Nigerians failed the people?”, Zeinab Badawi, the anchor of the programme, had asked Soyinka.
In his reply the professor said; “Yes, I believe so. I compare today with dreams and aspirations we had when we all rushed home after studies abroad. We considered ourselves the renaissance people that were going to lift the continent to world standards, competitors anywhere. It hasn’t happened.”
Soyinka described the 2019 Presidential Election as the most depressing elections in the history of Nigeria.
“The 2019 election is one of the most depressing elections we’ve been through. Talking for myself, it wasn’t possible for me to make a choice for the simple reason that both candidates (President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar) had histories – one immediate, one past – which made one look for alternatives.”
He further spoke on why he supported Buhari in 2015.
According to him, the reason why Buhari won was because people could not continue with Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in office.
“General Buhari didn’t really win the first election, he won by default. It was impossible to continue with Jonathan (back in 2015).
“As it happened, yes, I did use that expression ‘born again democrat.’ When somebody competes in an election three, four times and persists, he must believe in democracy… the circumstances in Nigeria, the fact that Nigerians have shown the military what a huge failure they were makes it possible for one to identify the possibility of exceptions when they seem to behave like democrats.
“But in any case, I kept emphasising that Nigerians had a very difficult choice and as I said, it was between the devil and the deep blue sea.”