Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka said a psychiatrist should be called to examine him should he join the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) recently launched by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Soyinka spoke in an interview with BBC Yoruba Service, which began online on Monday.
Obasanjo had in a letter written to President Muhammadu Buhari in January, canvassed a new movement that will give Nigeria a new leadership. But Soyinka said: “Me? Obasanjo would establish a group and I will become a member of such group? That means they should get a psychiatrist to examine me,” he said.
Soyinka advised Nigerians to be cautious in accepting at face value, Obasanjo’s letter and the statement issued by former military president, Ibrahim Babangida. “When these Generals begin to write letters there is the possibility that what they have in mind is different from what we have in mind.”However, Soyinka said the content of the message should be examined even though the messengers were not trustworthy.
“When these Generals begin to speak, we are supposed to get suspicious and ask what exactly do they have in mind? It is possible that what they have in mind is different from what we have in mind,” he said.“You can look at it from two perspectives, the messenger and the message. The message should be examined closely. We should not look at the misdeeds of the messenger alone.
“Let’s start by asking, is he saying the truth or telling lies, or is he being tricky? “If he is saying the truth and talking about things that are beneficial to the masses, we would allow that be.“After that, we would now look at the person speaking, what is in his mind? …even if it’s a little child who is speaking, as far as that child is saying the truth, we won’t ask the child to keep quiet. We won’t ask the child what do you know?
“We would listen. It is the same situation with those who have presided over the affairs of this nation without making significant progress.“We have seen their weaknesses, we have seen their nakedness in public, if they now want to be covered, by saying that they have turned a new leaf, we would examine that too. What I am saying in essence is that what they have said should also be examined.”
While urging the youth to come together to present a candidate to represent them, he said the older generation would support them if they are serious.“We have a lot of them. It is the turn of the younger ones. If they come together, as we speak, if they can start now and bring out one individual among them, we will work with him.”