Monday, March 28, 2011

Wole Soyinka Condemns Rising Violence

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Sunday condemned the spate of killing in the on-going political campaign rallies of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties in the country.

Soyinka spoke at the formal launch of in Festac, Lagos where he urged Nigerian electorate to reject a directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafis Ringim, that citizens should not use cell phones and cameras to record and monitor voting processes.

Also at the launch, the Nobel laureate urged the people of Nigeria to disregard politicians and political parties involved in killing, asking rhetorically that "what is the essence of killing ourselves in order to serve ourselves?"

At another fora, the Presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP), Professor Pat Utomi, also on Sunday condemned the rising wave of political violence in the country, saying the trend portends danger for the Aprill elections.

Utomi also called on President Goodluck Jonathan the presidential candidate of the ruliing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to as a matter of urgency convene a national security council meeting to be attended by the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and leaders of the political parties to find solutions to this dangerous political development in the country.

In a statement by the spokesman of the Pat Utomi Presidential Campaign Organisation, Reverend Austin Nnorom, Utomi said "This violence which became manifest with the killing of some aspirants in Borno State has now reached a deplorable peak in daily drawn battles all over the country.

"It is condemnable in states like Ebonyi, Oyo, Niger and others where the state governments have shown enormous insensitivity to democratic norms and in fact all over the country. This development have dangerous consequences for the elections and free and fair elections cannot be possible," Utomi said.

The rising political violence, according to Utomi, "is centered towards intimidating both candidates and voters become more worrisome with the evidence that law enforcement agencies seem impotent to this dastardly act and allow it strive with impunity in the face of such wide spread human rights abuses.

This Day

Related stories: Nigeria's Wole Soyinka on CNN's special African Voices

Nigerian Legend Wole Soyinka on Democracy

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