Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has cried out about the endless martyrdom of youth in the country. And has called on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to seek help, saying the killing of three of the abducted students of the Greenfield University, Kaduna was another indication that the country is at war.
This is as President Buhari mourned the brutal murder of the students describing their killing as a barbaric terror attack.
In the same vein, the Northern States Governors Forum, has expressed grief over the reported death of the students, describing it as shocking, barbaric and condemnable.
Soyinka, a renowned octogenarian playwright and poet, said with their killing, the already over-stretched sinews of moral restraint had been snapped off the casing of nation being, and that nothing was left but the collective wails of impotence.
He made these remarks in a statement on Saturday in reaction to the brutal killing of the abducted varsity students, whose bodies were dumped close to the institution.
In the statement titled: “The Endless Martyrdom of Youth,” Soyinka said Abukakar Atiku had summed up the nation’s feeling, when he said, “This most recent savagery against our youth is heartbreaking.
“More than the heart is broken, however, more than millions of individual hearts that still lay claim to bonds in a common humanity,” the Nobel laureate said with grief.
He said one’s greatest fear, with this latest feat of cowardly savagery, “is that the nation must brace itself for a Beslan scenario, yet strive to avoid Nigeria become Africa’s Chechnya.
“I envy no one the task ahead, terminating the toxic harvest of past derelictions. Blame laying is for later. Right now is the question of – what needs to be done, and done urgently.
“We keep avoiding the inevitable, but that very unthinkable now hammers brutishly on our gates, the blood ransom arrogantly insatiable.
“This nation is at war, yet, we continue to pretend that these are mere birth-pangs of a glorious entity. They are death throes. Vultures and undertakers hover patiently but with full confidence,” he declared.
Soyinka noted that those who have been proven weak and incapable should learn to swallow their vain pride and seek help.
According to the Nobel laureate, “this is no new counseling. But of course, the dog that will get lost no longer heeds the hunter’s whistle.”
He further noted that the dogs of war “stopped merely baying years ago. Again and again they have sunk their fangs into the jugular of this nation.”
“I grieve with the bereaved, but mourn even more for our youth so routinely sacrificed, burdened with uncertainty and traumatized beyond youth’s capacity to cope. To this government we repeat the public cry: Seek Help. Stop Improvising with Human Lives. Youth – that is, the future – should not serve as Ritual Offering on the altar of a failing State.
“Not for the first time, what many hoped was a Natural Law of Limitations has been contemptuously, defiantly breached. We need to remind ourselves of hideous precedents.
“We must remember Chibok. And Dapchi. And numerous antecedents and after, unpublicised, or soon relegated to the sump of collective amnesia. The wages of impunity never diminish, on the contrary, they distend,” he said.
Formally reacting to the development via a statement by one of his media aides, Garba Shehu, the president however declared that, “banditry, kidnapping and the politics of murders will be fought with all the resources available to our country”.
He gave strong assurances that those that thought profits could be made, either from money paid as ransom or in politics, “will realise sooner than later that they are bound by the same fate as their victims”.
The president strongly condemned the killing of three of the students, even as he described the students as bright youngsters, who were cut down by evil people in their prime.
“My thoughts are with their families in this time of grief. May their souls rest in peace,” said the President.
On the recurring incidents of kidnappings and killings in Kaduna State in particular, the President condemned them as “barbaric terror attacks,” and described as “unfortunate, the tenor of some political and religious leaders that seem to further incite and stoke the pain and anguish of mourning families,who are forced to confront these atrocities.
“Addressing this scourge requires a great show of empathy and coming together as a society to squarely confront these elements and the danger it poses to our democracy and peaceful life in the country.”
Nigerians on Friday reacted with shock and anger to the killing of three of the students of Greenfield University, Kaduna kidnapped by bandits on Tuesday from the school.
The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, had in a statement yesterday morning, announced that the bandits shot dead three of the abducted students
In announcing the killing of the three students, the Kaduna State government said, “In an act of mindless evil and sheer wickedness, the armed bandits, who kidnapped students of Greenfield University have shot dead three of the abducted students.
“The armed bandits on Tuesday night kidnapped an unspecified number of students at the institution located at Kasarami village off Kaduna-Abuja Road in Chikun LGA.
“The remains of three students were found today (Friday), in Kwanan Bature village, a location close to the university and have been evacuated to a mortuary by the Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, and Force Commander, Operation Thunder Strike, Lt.Col. MH Abdullahi.
“Governor Nasir El-Rufai has condemned the killing of three students as sheer wickedness, inhumanity and an outright desecration of human lives by vile entities.”
The statement quoted the governor as saying, “the armed bandits represent the worst of humankind and must be fought at all cost for the violent wickedness they represent.”
Evil, the Governor further said, would not triumph over God-given humanity. He appealed to citizens to come together against the forces of darkness challenging national security and the very existence of the Nigerian state.
“The Governor, on behalf of the government and people of Kaduna State sent deep condolences and empathy to the students’ families and the university community, as he prayed for the repose of their souls.The Government will keep citizens informed of further developments”, Aruwan said.
The statement was, however, silent on the number of the students abducted.
Reacting too, Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, in a statement said there was no justification whatsoever for the kidnap and murder of the innocent students, who were simply in school to study and prepare themselves for service to the nation, adding that action was an act of sheer wickedness that must not be allowed to go unpunished.
Lalong said the Northern governors have continued to engage the federal government and security agencies towards a lasting solution to this menace of kidnapping and other criminal activities particularly in schools that have great implications on the future of education in the region and the nation at large.
The governors recalled that the recent meeting of the Forum with President Buhari and Service Chiefs was to further consolidate on measures towards addressing the security challenges of the region and the nation as a whole.
While commiserating with the families of the murdered students, the governors called for the immediate and unconditional release of the other students still under captivity.
Deji Elumoye in Abuja, Gboyega Akinsanmi in Lagos and Seriki Adinoyi in Jos