It would be recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had a few days back said Nigerians rather than calling for restructuring of the country should restructure their minds.
However, in a swift reaction, the respected literal icon who spoke on Monday in Lagos at an event every Nigerian knows what restructuring is all about, whether it is called reconfiguring, return to status quo, or reformulating the protocols of association.
Soyinka, speaking with reporters after a press briefing, to unveil the second batch of students departing Nigeria for Lebanon on Tuesday to study in Lebanon, a programme by The Cedars Institute, Lebanon, in collaboration with The Wole Soyinka Foundation, said he would never be part of such plan. Call it whatever name, what we are saying is that this nation is long-overdue for reconfiguration.
According to Soyinka, those who were speaking against the agitation for restructuring were diverting attention, saying: "There are those who try to divert direct attention away from the main issue by mounting platitudes, clichés like it is the mind that needs restructuring, you know who I am talking to?"
He said those who are of the opinion that what Nigeria needed was just a restructuring of the mind were not saying the obvious. They go to school and extramural classes to have their minds restructured.
"Nobody is saying that the exercise of restructuring the mind should not be undertaken; it should be undertaken".
He also noted that peddling the idea of "restructuring the mind" was a dishonest, cheap and trivializing an issue of such importance as affects the development and security of the nation. We're talking about the protocol of the association of the constitutive part of the nation. This country is over-centralised. That is a long expression, or you can use a single word like restructuring; it doesn't matter in the context. Are you saying we can not reconstruct the mind and reconstruct the nation at the same time?
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He said the present administration had barely reached half of its term and people were already talking about re-election. I don't understand this. I refuse to be part of that discussion.
The Nobel laureate also scored the administration low on the economy.
"Just take security for instance, the average citizens feel less secured now than it did few years ago".
"Even if it is one state, that state has the right to say, listen people, let us restructure this state; the protocols that went into the making of this state are no longer viable or have been distorted along the way or have been abandoned and we want to go back to the original set of protocols that created what we call his national entity. This is also part and parcel of reconstruction or reconfiguration", Soyinka said.
"There's a big question mark on the economy right now". In fact, there is no question about it, the past few years have been years of internal economic disasters for the average citizens, but it is a question of who laid the seed? Fortunately, everybody admits that we went through a very bad patch. Right now, is the question of have we come out of it or not?
He, however, said there was a question of who was responsible for the agony the nation was plunged into in the last two years.
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