Renowned playwright and author, Professor Wole Soyinka, has described the #EndSARS protest as one of the most successful movements in Nigeria.
Soyinka, who spoke at an interactive session during the launch of his book, entitled, ‘The Putin Files: Excursions Around The Ideology Of Pain,’ in Lagos, said the #EndSARS protest was an expression of the people’s frustration with the situation in the country.
It will be recalled that in October 2020, protesters acting under the #EndSARS mantra, took to streets nationwide to demand an end to police brutality.
The protests led to the disbandment of the special anti-robbery squad of the Nigeria Police Force.
The Nobel laureate said: “#EndSARS is one of the most successful movements. It is authentic. It was the expression of people. It was organised. Most importantly, it was based on truth.
“When I saw the crowd, I came down and addressed them. It reminded me of the anti-Abacha movement. When I would stand in the median and address the crowd.”
He said some people had schemed to “tilt” the country towards having an interim government, even before the 2023 elections, adding that those who supported the interim government plot were manipulated to do so.
The Nobel laureate said: “Some people had schemed to tilt the country towards having an interim government. That tendency had been apparent even before the election.”
Soyinka, who also alluded to the Peter Obi movement in comparison to the #EndSARS movement, said the fulcrum of the supporters of the former was based on “half-truth.”
He said: “So some of those who thought they were being radical, they were being ‘mumu’ and playing the script of others. They thought they were tough, bold and original.
“You just don’t say it’s who shouts the loudest. If you want to come out based on truth, then no problem. I’ll reverse, but you want to call out people based on the unprovable even as some people will counter with their strict monologue.
“I will not stand by it or keep silent. Impossible. Especially as I am more knowledgeable about these things than many people, even though they don’t admit it.
“They can go back to the internet, open their dictionary of abuses and start all over again. I will come back and tell them that you are ‘mumu’. You were not playing your script,”