Nigeria’s Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has expressed concern over the real intentions of the military, suggesting a hidden agenda to sweep aside the civilian administration. Soyinka, 80, told Deutsche Welle on Wednesday that the military may be poised to intervene unconstitutionally and seize power after presidential elections on March 28.
“There are clear indications of a military intervention,” he said. Soyinka a firebrand critic of successive governments in Nigeria added: “Ex-military officers and security officers are trying to push aside the political contestants and use the unrest as an excuse to establish an interim government.”
He claimed that an interim government would be pretending, as it’s not an intervention by the military and expressed fears that some well-known civilians would be at hand to give it a civilian veneer.
The elections will take place against the backdrop of a violent insurgency being waged by the Islamist militant sect Boko Haram in the northeast of Nigeria since 2009, sparking widespread criticism of the military including from Soyinka who said his country “is aspiring hard to become a failed state”.
In recent months, the militants have spread their campaign of terror to neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroun, prompting the formation of a regional force to deal with the sect which has since professed allegiance to the Islamic State in the Middle East.