Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has attacked former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his new book: “Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?: Gani’s Unfinished Business.”
The book was released to the public on Tuesday by Bookcraft and formed the text of Soyinka’s speech at the 10th memorial lecture of the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi.
In the book, Soyinka told Obasanjo to to desist from struggling to restore Nigeria to the path of sanity and moderate rectitude.
He said Obasanjo was “objectively unfitted” for the role.
He said: “…I know that deep inside, there is a soakaway pond of personal insecurity struggling to be drained.
“Beneath every bully, there is a scared product of insecurity and troubled conscience.
“Now, fight your own demons as best as you can, and feel free to flagellate (President Muhammadu) Buhari with all the weapons in your armoury.
“I have only one demand: keep away from movements struggling to restore this nation to the path of sanity and even moderate rectitude.
“End your hijacking propensity.’’
Soyinka described the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State, built by Obasanjo, as: “Presidential Laundromat.”
He said it was constructed with fraud.
He said: “That structure in Abeokuta remains a moral eyesore to those who were in a position to obtain even a glimmering of the proceedings that inflicted such a purulent carbuncle on the landscape of my state, Ogun.
“However, even the grossest evil can be turned to some good.
“When we were school pupils, one of our illustrated reading texts was one entitled: ‘This is the house that Jack built.’
“Today, and forevermore, generations will point to that thing, which I have dubbed the Presidential Laundromat and say: ‘This is the house that fraud built.’”
The playwright also asked if someone with Obasanjo’s “governance record dare accuse anyone of failing to rise to the challenges of governance”.
Soyinka said one of the challenges that had confronted Nigeria since military incursion into politics was electricity.
He asked Obasanjo to tell Nigerians how he rose to the challenges of power while he was in office for eight years.
He said: “I dare Obasanjo to meet me one-on-one on any podium to present the facts of that stewardship to the Nigerian people… Just how did you, in eight years, rise to the challenges of power generation for a population of a hundred and fifty million people, endowed with enormous energy resources…
“Eight years-repeat, eight years in office, and the elected estate manager of this vast territory could not even provide the modicum level of power to activate even a low-level cottage industrial culture.
“And such individual has the nerve to sermonise about rising to challenges.”
The essayist and poet also said that he had a vested interest in the power industry and could claim to be an insider in that ministry for a while when the late Bola Ige agreed to serve as minister of power in Obasanjo’s cabinet against his (Soyinka’s) personal conviction.
Besides, he noted that the allegation of corruption against Obasanjo by a former Abia State Governor, Chief Orji Kalu, should be formally addressed, adding: “Again, we are also duty bound to point out that the author of that damning expose is himself standing trial on charges of corruption. We are aware that this pioneer letter-writer has been summoned by the EFCC to substantiate his claims.”