Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, on Monday, told the BBC Yoruba service that he will surrender himself to be examined by a psychiatrist should he join former President Olusegun Onasanjo’s Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM).
Soyinka said, “Me? Obasanjo would establish a group and I will become a member of such group? That means they should get a psychiatrist to examine me.”
The poet said there was need for Nigerians to look twice when reacting to statements made by retired military men like Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida.
He was reacting to the statements made by Obasanjo and Babangida, calling for the removal of President Muhammadu Buhari from office in 2019.
“when these soldiers speak, there is the possibility that what they have in mind is different from what we have in mind,” Soyinka told the British broadcaster.
He continued, “When these soldiers begin to speak, we are supposed to get suspicious and ask what exactly do they have in mind? It is possible that what they have in mind is different from what we have in mind.
“You can look at it from two perspectives, the messenger and the message. The message should be examined closely. We should not look at the misdeeds of the messenger alone. Let’s start by asking, is he saying the truth or telling lies, or is he being tricky?
“If he is saying the truth and talking about things that are beneficial to the masses, we would allow that be. After that, we would now look at the person speaking, what is in his mind? … even if it’s a little child who is speaking, as far as that child is saying the truth, we won’t ask the child to keep quiet. We won’t ask the child what do you know? We would listen. It is the same situation with those who have presided over the affairs of this nation without making significant progress.
“We have seen their weaknesses, we have seen their nakedness in public, if they now want to be covered by saying that they have turned a new leaf, we would examine that, too. What I am saying in essence is that what they have said should also be examined.”
“We have a lot of them. It is the turn of the younger ones. If they come together, as we speak, if they can start now and bring out one individual among them, we will work with him,” he said.
“We are going to give them the support they need to transform the country. People like us are supposed to sit somewhere,” he added.