Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has on Saturday, called for states where children are kidnapped to be shut down in protests.
He also advised that neighbouring states join in such protests by shutting down as well in solidarity.
Soyinka spoke after an award lecture and presentation of his new book, ‘Chronicles of the happiest people on Earth,’ in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
His comment comes after 317 schoolgirls were abducted in Zamfara on Friday, a week after 27 students were kidnapped in Kagara, Niger State.
He said, “I think we are reaching the point where, in any state, where any child is kidnapped, that state should shut down completely. And other states, in solidarity, should at least shut down some of their activities. It sounds extreme but, we don’t know what else one can propose at this particular time.Yes, life must go on but even those activities will generate and enhance our very existence.
“I think we have to take on a tonality of regrets, of the unacceptable, protestation and mobilisation on whatever level it is possible as a community of human beings.
‘‘We shouldn’t wait for an enemy, faceless, airborne, unpredictable enemy like COVID to make us shut down. In protest and as a statement of the unacceptable, we are shutting ourselves down until this situation is resolved.”
He added, “The abduction of our children, when will it end, how will it end? I don’t think any of us can tell. But it is important that we continue to stress and to remind ourselves that, not only are these abnormal times, but it seems to be, to me anyway, times of the shirking of responsibility in very key areas.
“We cannot permit ourselves – we just cannot – continue in this fashion. Something drastic, meaningful has to take place, and it has to be collective.
“This is no longer the responsibility of those at the top who are supposed to be in charge of security, in charge of governance; they have clearly failed the populace. They’ve failed us. There is no point in trying to reason it out, to find excuses, to lay blame. The important thing is that we are very close to accepting a culture of the unacceptable.”