Soyinka is sick of premature 2019 talk – aren’t we all?

by Alexander O. Onukwue

Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has lamented the early agitations that have been on about the 2019 Presidential elections, describing that he refuses “to be part of that discussion and absolutely refuse to be part of that discussion”.

The respected professor must have been nauseating from the events of the past weeks which has seen amplified conversations about the potential opponents to President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming polls. Still about 18 months away, the 2019 elections have become one of the main issues of public discourse, even above the implementation of the 2017 Budget and the anti-corruption war which Buhari had made his flagship campaign programme.

Professor Soyinka has been pretty close to the administration in its two years. He visited the President in August 2016, a private meeting in which both men were said to have discussed “national and international matters”.

The conversations about 2019 have been fuelled recently by events surrounding former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. He has not formally declared his intention but with every tweet and comment he makes on the state of the nation, the Buhari administration and his dormant role in the APC, it is beginning to look like a formality that he will announce his aspiration. The analysis of the video of a Buhari Minister declaring support for Atiku has been heavy and continuous, and nearly numbing.

One could say Prof Soyinka’s weariness arises from a certain level of interest he has in seeing Buhari succeed; hence, the present distractions would not be working towards that goal. However, more than a few persons will agree that with the elections still more than a year and three fiscal budgets away, the energies currently being expended towards that election could be better employed for achieving present goals.

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