Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has called for declaration of state of emergency due to the security challenges in the South West Zone.
Mr Soyinka made the call on Thursday in Akure, the Ondo State capital on the sidelines of the D.O Fagunwa Study Group International Conference held to celebrate his 85th birthday.
The conference had as theme: “Wole Soyinka, DO Fagunwa and the Yoruba Artistic Heritage.”
The literary giant said the most appropriate measure to take in view of the insecurity that had pervaded the whole of the South West was to declare a state of emergency across the region.
“As regards the insecurity in the South West, there is an emergency. There should be a declaration of security emergency throughout the land and measures taken accordingly.
“There are many directions of security lapses, you know it here, especially in Ondo State, it is a calamity throughout the whole nation. There is an emergency,” he said.
The first African Nobel Laureate said the governors, especially those in the South West geo-political zone, must work assiduously toward tackling the menace of insecurity.
Mr Soyinka, however, expressed gratitude to Ondo State Government for celebrating his 85th birthday and the completion of the ‘Dome’ which was meant to celebrate art and culture.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said the nation had allowed unreasonable competition, ethnicism, tribalism, corruption, political and economic ownership of the nation to slow down the pace of self-realisation.
According to Mr Akeredolu, in Africa, the challenge has moved largely from the legitimacy of governance institutions to its responsiveness to the need for a coordinated plan for cultural integration, economic development and general human capital development.
The governor was, however, excited at the 85th birthday celebration of Mr Soyinka, whom he described as his mentor and supporter.
Mr Akeredolu described Mr Soyinka as a first class academic, playwright, poet, novelist, and great human condition activist.
He said Mr Soyinka’s life was a lesson for public office holders because he had elevated the art of partisan living as the biggest ideal of social reclamation.
“I join other well-meaning Nigerians and the world at large to wish you, our great emblem of decency and justice, a happy 85th birthday!
“I am fully convinced that your gathering here is another of those creative moments of rethinking our journey as a nation and our health as a society in search of its own civilisation.
“I have read a bit of the book of proceeding of your last conference and I am convinced of the vigour, depth and clear headedness with which your Study Group addresses the myriad of challenges that the human mind faces in its quest for self-reinvention and reclamation.
“For all that we know, humanity is passing through some of its trying periods. Globally, definition of peace, progress, liberty and prosperity is interrogating the best of our civilisation today.
“From leadership crisis which torments the sanest of public organisations to the fearful response of a traumatised followership, the narrative is clear: we must check and recheck the path on which we tread,” Mr Akeredolu said.