Don’t manipulate judiciary -Prof Wole Soyinka


Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole SoyinkaNobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, Monday, appealed to both the Federal and state governments not to manipulate the judiciary to avoid a complete breakdown of law and order in the country.

Professor Soyinka who spoke with newsmen at Government House, Port Harcourt noted that steps should be taken to overcome what he described as dark areas.

“I think that the judiciary right now while it is trying to reform itself, recognizes the fact that there are still some dark areas and I think it is the effect of the dark areas that seems to be creating a crisis in Rivers State right now. I am just alarmed, I am alarmed that it appears to me that the judiciary is being manipulated. That is the impression which I had and that is an alarm which should be sounded in every corner of the nation”.

Continuing, Prof Soyinka who warned against act of pettiness on the part of government over the grounded aircraft belonging to the Rivers State government said he was in Port Harcourt ahead of preparations for the 2014 Port Harcourt World Book festival.

“Witch-hunting is a very heavy word. Let me just say this generally that I hate evidence of pettiness in governance. I think pettiness at any level is unbecoming of any democratic situation. “That is all I want to say about that. I see that I cannot escape all what is going on. I have also asked some questions myself. I am a citizen of this nation, so I am affected personally by what is happening at the opposite end of the nation.

“Those who feel that any kind of transgression of the collective rights of groups will not have a kind of ripple effect which will affect other parts of the nation must be living in a cloud and so I am concerned, and I will be quite frank with you.

“I am very much concerned about the imbroglio in which the state (Rivers State) appears to be involved at the moment and my main comment is, for heaven’s sake, whatever happens internally between parties and so on, please don’t debase and don’t manipulate the judiciary. That is my appeal to governance at all levels.

“Please do not manipulate the judiciary because when you do, you have chaos, you have total anarchy, you reduce the nation to a space of complete breakdown of law and order which is what this nation had better avoid.

“I am glad that we are in a position to assist the Rivers State government using the instrumentality of literacy, education, knowledge to counter the negativists, violent negativists as represented in movements like Boko Haram”.

On Boko Haram, Soyinka said the word should be replaced with Book Hara, meaning positive response towards education.

Soyinka who said he was elated with Port Harcourt as the 2014 world book capital called for greater interest in reading.