Nobel literature laureate and wordsmith Wole Soyinka held a “closed door” meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday 11 August to discuss “one or two things” including “national matters, international matters and general matters”, according to Soyinka.
When questioned further by the media at the presidential villa on what he discussed with the president, Soyinka refused to reveal much, but said he will be holding a press conference in a week’s time and would then be ready to be questioned.
Well, a week has come and gone, but no presser from Soyinka.
It would be recalled that Soyinka, despite being one of Buhari’s fiercest critics, especially on account of the latter’s rule as a military dictator in the 1980s, turned round to back Buhari’s bid for the presidency last year.
Since coming to office, it would be an understatement to say that the Buhari administration has failed to live up to expectation from their supporters. Soyinka, for several months, kept his silence as the Nigerian economy tanked, insecurity from the Niger Delta and Fulani herdsmen ravaged the land, the army massacred Shia Muslims in Zaria, Kaduna State, with little in terms of a response from Buhari.
Soyinka belatedly spoke out calling for an “emergency economic summit” of so-called experts to find solutions to the economic malaise. He was also critical of the Buhari regime for failing to address the menace from herdsmen that has resulted in hundreds of deaths.
So Soyinka’s account of his meeting with Buhari is of public interest. As several Nigerians have resorted to referring to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as “All Promises Cancelled”, Soyinka should avoid tainting his reputation by association with the APC and following in their ways by cancelling the promise of a press conference.
Unlike the people he backed in the APC, Nigerians expect Soyinka to be a man of his word. We hope he is not going to ignore his promise to hold a press conference, hoping that the public would forget. Alternatively, he may have been gagged by the administration because what he has to say may have the potential of causing them embarrassment.