Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has slammed President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent show of “admiration” for Sani Abacha, former military dictator. According to Prof. Soyinka, President Buhari cannot honour Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, while also “praising” the former military dictator, his (Abiola’s) “tormentor”. The late General Abacha jailed late Chief 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, President 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”. But, speaking on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 when President Buhari conferred the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on Chief Abiola, Prof. Soyinka said the last Gen Abacha would have been standing trial at the International Criminal Court if he was still alive. He told President Buhari at the event that: “You cannot honour Abiola in one breath and admire his tormentor in another breath”. Prof. Soyinka proposed a “hall-of-shame” award for past Nigerian leaders guilty of violent crimes against citizens.