I have 60 reasons not to vote Jonathan —Soyinka

Prof. Wole Soyinka

NOBEL laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, on Thursday, in Lagos, disclosed he had 60 reasons not to vote for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The 60 reasons were, however, not adumbrated.

Soyinka also noted he would not encourage anyone to vote for the continuation of his administration, which he concluded had failed the tenets of leadership.

He spoke at the 2015 edition of the annual Vision of the Child (VOTC) programme which commenced in 2012, with this year’s edition themed: “The Road to Sambisa.”.

“I will not vote and I will not encourage anyone to vote for the continuation of this government, simply because your colleagues numbering over two hundred were kidnapped, ” Soyinka told students at the event.

He lamented that the Chibok girls kidnapped on April 14 of last year were sent on a mission to acquire education, but ended up being kidnapped.

According to him, “and the government of this nation failed to show leadership. So, anyone who says after that event that I will vote or cast my vote or encourage anyone to vote for this regime must be living in Sambisa forest.”

Sambisa forest is widely acknowledged as the abode of the Boko Haram terrorists, who kidnappped the Chibok girls and the girls are thought to be kept there.

Soyinka said it took the Jonathan government 10 days to even accept that the Chibok girls were missing.

“There has been a failure of leadership. Our children whom you represent today have been betrayed.

“After that dereliction of duty, after that failure of leadership, after that betrayal for our future, for anyone to think or to put words in my mouth suggesting that I will vote or encourage anyone to vote for this regime is a travesty of intelligence, ” Soyinka said.

Soyinka laughed off those who had claimed on the social media that he was dead, telling journalists at the event that they should not misquote him, adding that if they did, he would rise from the dead to correct them.

A total of 250 student participants from 60 primary and secondary schools within Lagos attended the interview, of age bracket nine to 12 years.

Their entries were assessed by a panel of eminent judgesm, comprising teachers, artists, child carers and social workers.

The finalists would be invited on March 7 to the National Conversation Foundation Park, Lekki and provided with brush, paint and easel, and required to illustrate their literary presentation in the complementary medium painting.

Festival Secretary and Programme Manager for the programme, Foluke George, said 60 finalists were drawn this year from 35 schools within Lagos State.

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