Considering the increase in bombing in some parts of Northern Nigeria, especially Nyanya, Abuja; Jos, Plateau State and Borno State, Noble laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has said the country is at war.
In an article titled: ‘And Now, the Ecumenical City of Jos?,’ Soyinka said following the Nyanya bomb blast and the three now witnessed in the city of Jos, there can be no hiding away from the truth of the state of the Nigerian nation.
“Perhaps at long last, the government and political leaders will fully accept what many have been declaiming for upwards of two, even three years: the nation is at war. There can be no further evasion, indeed it is criminal folly to attempt to disguise or fudge this reality.”
According to Nobel laureate, Nigeria had got to such a point in its survival where the only option was for the entire citizen to mobilise and place the entirety of the population on a national alert and on invitationto sacrifice.
“This is a pressing undertaking for President, governors, local governments, institutions of every shade and purpose, businesses and individuals. This requires an inculcation into citizen mentality of the plain fact that nowhere now should we accommodate the tranquilising mode of ‘business as usual’. It is time even for that drastic, unpalatable creation of: A War Council!”
Soyinka said the non-partisan approach being canvassed to fight terrorism should be acted upon and called for an unaccustomed discipline and a level of public morality by Nigerians of every class, such that would “not make a mockery of the innocent dead, maimed and bereaved.”
According to him, “It is that kind of state of peril where the illegal appropriation of public resources should translate as nothing less than an act of treachery against the people, treason against the state. Derelections of the past in the sphere of public responsibility
in all fields must now count as hostile engagement and, above all, a security consciousness at all levels as instructional undertaking, not as incidentally imbibed or trickle-down awareness into citizen mind, should be a priority of ministries and parastatals, and voluntary organisations.”
Beyond the role of government organisations, Soyinka proposed that “private sanctuary, the individual homes should take the lead,” reason being that “One waits in vain for an accentuated discipline of watchfulness to be inculcated, energised through a public education process on young and old, so that every individual becomes alert to any unusual event in his or her neigbourhood.
“Let it be understood that I am not advocating meaningless and banal slogans, or regimentation, but the imaginative development of citizen structures – work places, clubs, trade unions, schools and colleges, religious bodies, sports fields etc. etc. – in enhancing security sensibilities and educating the population on the now unarguable nature of the enemy.”