Killings: Nigeria experiencing ethic cleansing, says Soyinka
Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said Nigeria is on a terminal nose-dive and that its pilot, who he noted is missing, must cry for international help as many had advised.
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Soyinka, who stated this in a statement he issued on Sunday titled, “May Day! May Day!! May Day!!!,” in commemoration of the 2018 Workers’ Day described the ongoing killings in the country as “ethic cleansing.”
The critic, who said May Day, that he uttered thrice, signified a distress call, adding that long before its adoption for that function, however, and more traditionally, there did exist Labour (or Workers’) Day, dedicated to the entitlement of workers to the value and dignity of their labour.
He noted that the Nigerian constituency was left to determine which attribution – or both, or none – was deafeningly clamorous on May 1, 2018.
Soyinka stated, “No matter, one feels it a duty to call the attention to the painful convergence of both appropriations. Could such a co-option serve equally as summons for a last-chance, eleventh hour reprieve?”
The celebrated playwright also drew what he termed ‘eerie parallels’ in the country’s current situation to a “certain May Day disorder, one in which that distress call was never heard.”
He further likened the present state of things in Nigeria to the Aeroflot Flight 593 of September 28, 1994 in which all passengers died because the captain unprofessionally left the pilot’s seat for his family members while he went to salute the passengers.
Soyinka said, “After preliminary official denials, the undeniable – and tragically inappropriate factor of the crash was formally acknowledged – a laissez-faire, unprofessional conduct with human lapses, among which nepotism – by that, or any other name-loomed large. The captain was not even in the pilot’s seat – others were! They were the pilot’s family – mostly his children. The family member who actually begun the spiral of disaster by pulling the wrong control leaver was – the Captain’s son, to whom his even younger daughter, some moments earlier, had yielded the controls. The pilot’s seat had been turned into a family game of musical chairs.
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“Where was the Captain? Somewhere along the aisle, saluting the passengers – all quite proper, and indeed encouraged by regulations. He had placed the plane on auto-pilot – just as this nation has been for some time – so he walked between the seats, dispensing and acknowledging greetings – it was a long flight to Hong Kong, after all.
“The plane went into a sharp turn after the wrong lever was pulled, and the auto-pilot disengaged. The original flight pattern was annulled -does that echo a campaign manifesto? – and the plane was now in unqualified hands. It took ages for the pilot to regain his control seat as some passengers were already tumbling from their seats into the aisle and he had to fight his way through bodily obstacles. All that, from reconstruction of events.
The ‘black box’ – or flight recorder – indicates that the pilot never even got round to shouting ‘May Day’ over the radio – he was too busy struggling to restore the plane’s technical functions, shout instructions, pull the plane out of a nose-dive, and attempt to right the craft – too late!
“Now flash forwards one decade to our present, and recall the number of desperate organisations calling on the Nigerian captain to bury his pride and cry ‘May Day” across all airwaves. Call out for international help to rescue a nation on its terminal nose-dive!
“There has been no sign of willing, while the screwed-up plane is now in its corkscrew dive. Even if this captain regains his seat before the crash, it is open season whether or not, like SUV Flight 593, it will not stall, and head straight for Zuma rockface. Strangers are in