Wole Soyinka slammed President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent show of “admiration” for Sani Abacha, ex-military head of state, who he called Abiola’s “tormentor”. Abiola was jailed in 1994 by Abacha, after he declared himself president following the annulment of the 1993 election by the military government of Ibrahim Babangida.
At a recent meeting in Aso Rock also, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari said: “No matter what opinion you have about Abacha, I agreed to work with him and the PTF road we did from here to Port Harcourt, to Onitsha, to Benin and so on.”
Speaking on Tuesday when Buhari conferred the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on Abiola, though Soyinka did not mention Abacha’s name specifically, the Nobel laureate said it was confusing for Buhari to honour Chief Moshood Abiola on the one hand, and be admiring the late politician’s “Tormentor-in-Chief” on the other.
Some are of the opinion that he had referred to the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, who clamped the business mogul to jail for about five years.
He wondered why President Buhari will continue to display loyalty to a man he described as “one of the worst dictators in the history of the country” and who should be having his days in court for crime against humanity.
“You cannot honour Abiola in one breath and admire his tormentor in another breath,” he told Buhari at the event which held in Abuja.
He also proposed a “hall-of-shame” award for past Nigerian leaders guilty of violent crimes against citizens. Buhari also conferred Babagana Kingibe, Abiola’s running mate in the election; and Gani Fawehinmi, late human rights activist, with the Grand Commander of the Niger (GCON).
Here are more photos from the event;