RECENT wave of killings in different parts of the country has been attributed to an ongoing war between the forces of good and evil.
Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, said this in Port Harcourt, Rivers
State, in his keynote address at the public presentation of Port Harcourt as the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World
Book Capital 2014, on Thursday, noting further that Nigerians would cease to be
human beings if they succumbed to the evil forces.
Soyinka, who expressed anger at the manner in which four students of the
University of Port Harcourt were recently killed and the Mubi killings in
Adamawa State, said the forces of evil were out to extinct all traces of
enlightenment and creativity in the country.
He, however, charged literary minds in the country to see themselves more
than just authors, writers and readers, but as part of a creative army standing
against the forces that had come to extinct creativity in today’s world.
“I believe quite frankly this country is at war, the war is between the
forces of darkness and the forces of light. The forces of intellect, the forces
of rationality and the forces of atavism retrograde thinking, forces of hatred
“I believe that if we surrender to these banal forces in our society, we
cease to be human beings, because we succumb completely to fear and it is the
same message we must take to those in this nation, who believe that books are
“I don’t care whether they call themselves the final defenders of the pure
road and the ultimate salvation or call themselves Boko Haram.
“This recognition indicates very clearly that something, at least, is going
right in Nigeria, despite the avalanche of negativities. One plea to my fellow
writers, authors everywhere is that we are not just engaged in the business of
writing books, we are parts of large army of creative people,” Soyinka said.
In his welcome address, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by
Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, said the
administration had been investing in the education sector so as to grow a