Journalism of Courage

Stop Using Security Forces To Intimidate, Muzzle Nigerians, Soyinka warns FG

Worried by the growing trend of deployment of security apparatuses by the Federal Government against its citizens, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has called for an end to the repression and intimidation.


Using security agencies to try to silence Nigerians should stop, Soyinka said in Badagry at the weekend at the unveiling of an art gallery to commemorate his 85th birthday.


He declared: “It is important to send strong message to this government and to the security services to stop trying to muzzle people when they come together to exchange ideas.

“You are reducing them as human beings and you are also reducing yourselves as human beings, because it means you are afraid to listen.”

It will be recalled that the Police, Army and the Department of State Services (DSS) had on August 19 sealed off the Lagos venue of a symposium where Soyinka, human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) and others were to speak on security challenges in the country.

Independence Day

The theme of the symposium was “Democracy, state repression and the state of insecurity in Nigeria’, organised by the Coalition for Revolution (CORE).

On comments being attributed to him on social media, Soyinka also cautioned Nigerians not to believe “everything they read’’ on the platform.

“Sometimes on social media, you will even see trending quotes supposedly from me, with my name, my photograph, with statements which represents what those people want to say but lacked the courage to say it.

“Be very, very careful what you believe even when you read such materials in social media or sometimes in newspapers because in this country, we have a most fertile multiplier effect.

“When somebody hears something, he puts it on the Internet, it spreads and an industry begins as people start commenting on things which never existed.’’

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