Soyinka to Buhari: You can’t honour Abiola and admire Abacha

Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, has slammed President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent show of “admiration” for Sani Abacha, ex-military head of state.

He said Buhari cannot honour MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, while also “praising” Abacha, his (Abiola’s) “tormentor”.

Abacha jailed Abiola in 1994 after he declared himself president, following the annulment of the 1993 election by the military government of Ibrahim Babangida.

At a recent meeting in Aso Rock, Nigeria’s seat of power, Buhari had said: “No matter what opinion you have about Abacha, I agreed to work with him and the PTF road we did from here to Port Harcourt, to Onitsha, to Benin and so on.”

However, speaking on Tuesday when Buhari conferred the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on Abiola, Soyinka said Abacha would have been standing trial at the International Criminal Court if he was still alive.

“You cannot honour Abiola in one breath and admire his tormentor in another breath,” he told Buhari at the event which held in Abuja.

He also proposed a “hall-of-shame” award for past Nigerian leaders guilty of violent crimes against citizens.

At the event, Buhari also conferred Babagana Kingibe, Abiola’s running mate in the election; and Gani Fawehinmi, late human rights activist, with the Grand Commander of the Niger (GCON).