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The ECOWAS Commission President, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo receiving the Niger President Mahamakou Issoufou to Ghana for the ECOWAS Summit

African leaders are not proactive – Wole Soyinka


Renowned Nigerian Playwright and Poet, Wole Soyinka has bemoaned what he describes as the lack of proactiveness in decision making among African leaders.

Speaking at the launch of a book titled “Crucible of the Ages” at the State Banquet Hall, Wole Soyinka said the abduction of over 200 chibok girls in Nigeria by Boko Haram and other incidents in Nigeria could have been prevented if African leaders were more proactive.

Boko Haram is a Nigerian militant Islamist group which has caused havoc in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria.

Their main aim of the group is to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.

The group has carried out violent activities including assassinations, bombings, and abductions in Nigeria.

Speaking on Nigeria’s current situation as a result of Boko Haram activities, Wole Soyinka said the menace has led to a spread of anti-humanism across the African continent.

“We know very well that the tentacles of that kind of anti-humanism have already spread throughout the whole the nation. We know also that these tentacles do not just exist in the Southward region, but the Westward and Eastward sections as well.”

He said the current situation in Nigeria can partly be attributed to the inability of African leaders to anticipate unforeseen crises.

“I am talking about most of the leaders of the West African community who are not able anticipate the kind of situation we find ourselves in Nigeria today.

If those leaders had not gone to Mali when they did, we know very well that we wouldn’t have had that mass abduction in Southern Nigeria,” he explained.

Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright and political activist who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.

The book, a collection of essays was written to mark Wole Soyinka’s 80th birthday.

The authors who contributed include other Nobel laureates- Nadine Gordimer, Toni Morrison and Derek Walcott; three African leaders- former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and distinguished writers and scholars: Ama Ata Aidoo, Ngugi wa Thiong o’, Sefi Atta, Ali Mazrui, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Toyin Falola, Nicholas Westcott and Prof. Atukwei Okai.

It was launched in Accra on Tuesday by the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame.