Unless the international community joins forces with the Nigerian government, the 276 girls kidnapped at the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State would be sold as sex slaves, Prof Wole Soyinka said yesterday.
The Nobel Laureate, who spoke to CNN’s Christine Amanpour, described the abduction of the school girls as a horrifying event, which needed rapid action from the global community.
He said the experience would traumatise the victims for the rest of their lives, stressing that services of psychological experts would be needed to help the girls recover from the pain should they be rescued alive.
He said: “The world must confront this reality. It is painful and horrifying that these girls are going to be sold as sex slaves. I used that expression deliberately; let us not beat around the bush. We are dealing with the monstrosity and an affliction, which requires that we must go in quickly and act rapidly, because these girls are going to be traumatised in a way in which it is going to …haimt them for the rest of their lives.”
Soyinka described as gleeful charade, the latest video released by the Boko Haram sect, which filmed its leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau, with four other armed militants, sending a message to the government.
“The obscenity we just watched from the leader of Boko Haram is something to be anticipated, but it doesn’t come as a surprise. That is the nature of what this people have made themselves into,” the Nobel Laureate said.
Soyinka, who noted that the Boko Haram activity should not be seen as Nigeria’s problem, said the sect was consolidating internal insurrection that had been brewing slowly in the country for a long time.
He dismissed the notion that the extrajudicial killing of Mohammed Yusuf, the sect’s leader, aggravated the crisis in the Northeast, saying the late Yusuf was a serial killer and butcher, who should have been brought to justice were he to be alive. He condemned the move by government leaders to make the late sect leader a saint, even as he denounced his extra-judicial killing.
He said: “When Yusuf was killed, a former Head of State went on a mission of appeasement to Boko Haram family, asking the people to forgive and forget. But this was a killer. But the law says those who kill must not go unpunished.”
Condemning the acts of terror against innocent Nigerians, Soyinka said: “These criminals take pride in bestiality. The issue is that of fundamentalist fascism in which you feel that…it is an act of domination in which you prove what power you have in the environment, the little pond, where you operate. It is a bad mentality.”
Soyinka said the protesters demonstrating against the school girls’ abduction have created action whose end nobody could tell. He said the abduction has ended all pretence by the government, which he said has shown indifference to the enormity of the crisis rocking the Northeast.
He said: “People coming out on the street now don’t realise the enormity the action would catch up on them. Where it would end, I do not know but one thing is certain; the president and his government cannot pretend what has befallen Nigeria. All the pretence, indifference and denial have ended; I am convinced about that. The situation is now beyond the capacity of the government…”
That is why I said it involves an international action.”