Nobel laureate Professor Wole Soyinka has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, accusing it of having a penchant for flouting the decisions of the judiciary under the guise of national interest.
In a statement entitled “Buhari’s Pernicious Doctrine”, Soyinka said that the President must have thought about his own travails under a military dictatorship and concluded that it was also in the national interest.
“The timing is perfect, and we have cause to be thankful for the advance warning, since not all rulers actually make a declaration of intent, but simply proceed to degrade the authority of the law as part of the routine business of governance.
“We have been there before. It should be of mere interest, not despondency, that this latest proclamation of dictatorial recidivism has also been made before an assembly of officers of the law, the Nigerian Bar Association. We expect a robust response from the NBA as part of its conclusions,” the statement read in part.
Channels TV recalls that President Buhari had told a gathering of lawyers at the Nigerian Bar Association conference in Abuja that the rule of law must be subjected to the national interest.
But the Nobel laureate criticised the President’s statement, saying, “There is no shortcut to democracy. The history of law, even where uncodified, is as old as humanity. Numerous rulers have tried again and again to annul that institution. Sometimes, they appear to succeed, but in the end, they pay a heavy forfeit. So does society.
“The Rule of Law, however, outlasts all subverters, however seemingly powerful. If the consequences for society in defence of the Rule of Law were not so costly, any new attempt would be merely banal and boring, hardly deserving of attention. We know, historically, where it will all end.”