Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka has said that he is alarmed that the judiciary is being debased and manipulated as he responded to questions from journalists on his reaction to the recent Abuja High Court Judgement that removed the Chief G. U. Ake led Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) State executive in Rivers State.
“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 a situation exists at all where it strikes me, 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”, Prof. Soyinka said.
Soyinka also lashed out at pettiness in governance at any level, saying that it is not appropriate for any government in a democratic situation to pay attention to small and unimportant issues rather than the serious matters.
Prof. Soyinka spoke in an interview with journalists in Port Harcourt on Monday when he responded to journalists’ questions on the current challenges being faced by the Rivers State Government over the grounding of the State aircraft by the federal government.
He said: “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 put some questions myself, I mean, obviously, 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 affect, 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”.
He congratulated the government and people of Rivers State for the emergence of Port Harcourt as 2014 World Book Capital, and stressed the need to use knowledge to fight the forces of retrogression in the Nigerian society.