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Soyinka Says Yoruba Nation Not The Solution

Prof Wole Soyinka, a Nobel laureate, has criticized efforts for a Yoruba nation to be formed.

He stated that, he preferred a united Nigeria, but under certain “rigorous conditions”.

Describing the country as a “basket case”, he said the political arrangement was not working.

Soyinka spoke out against the raid on the Yoruba activist Sunday Igboho’s home in an interview with BBC Pidgin which our correspondent monitored .

On secession calls, he said: “I don’t like the sound of a Yoruba nation any more than I like the sound of a Tiv nation or an Igbo nation.

“The reason is this: there are certain pejorative overtones, chauvinistic overtones attached to it. That’s not the issue.

“When you talk about a Yoruba nation, are we talking about the creation of a nation within Nigeria alone or across colonial borders into Cotonou, Benin Republic, where Yoruba exists, moving on to Togo and even Ivory Coast?

“So, when we talk about Yoruba nation, I have to know exactly what you mean. Do we even talk about the Yoruba in the Diaspora?

“So, it’s a question which is not for me to answer at this particular moment.”

Speaking on the need for restructuring, he faulted the existing revenue-sharing formula.

According to Soyinka; “All I know is this: on a sentimental level, I will prefer us to mend and manage what we have, but under certain, rigorous conditions.

“The condition is decentralisation. We have to move away completely from this constitution which was imposed on us by an internal, neo-colonial force called the military.

“Now, if it had worked, if it were working, my position would have been different.

“My conditions are non-negotiable. We have to get away from the present political arrangement because they clearly are not working.

“They are creating internal overlords, they are creating a skewed, lopsided revenue-sharing system. They are robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“Right now, what we have is not a nation, but a basket-case, a real basket-case which is disintegrating all over the place, and all the contents are spilling over the basket.

Soyinka said: “All I know is this: on a sentimental level, I will prefer us to mend and manage what we have, but under certain, rigorous conditions.

“The condition is decentralisation. We have to move away completely from this constitution which was imposed on us by an internal, neo-colonial force called the military.

“Now, if it had worked, if it were working, my position would have been different.

“My conditions are non-negotiable. We have to get away from the present political arrangement because they clearly are not working.

“They are creating internal overlords, they are creating a skewed, lopsided revenue-sharing system. They are robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“Right now, what we have is not a nation, but a basket-case, a real basket-case which is disintegrating all over the place, and all the contents are spilling over the basket.

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