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SOYINKA CALLS FOR CRIMINAL PROCEEDING AGAINST TURAI

By NBF News

Soyinka calls for criminal proceeding against Turai

By OLUWOLE FAROTIMI
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has called for the institution of criminal proceedings against the wife of Nigeria's ailing President, Mrs. Turai Yar'Adua for kidnapping her husband. Soyinka, who made the call at a rally, 'Women Arise for Change Initiative' organised to mark the International Women Day held in Lagos and the world over yesterday, accused the first lady of keeping President Yar'Adua unduly and illegally under false imprisonment.

The rally which was tagged '1000 woman march' kicked off from Allen Avenue in Ikeja and terminated at the Lagos State governor's office in Alausa where they presented letter to the governor for onward delivery to Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.

In attendance were political and human rights activists including African Democratic Congress (ADC) presidential candidate, Prof. Pat Utomi, Presiding Pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare and Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, among others .

Speaking during the rally in Allen Avenue Roundabout, Soyinka remarked that Turai had kidnapped President Yar'Ádua 'under false imprisonment. If it were in a civilized society, Turai should be in court by now for kidnapping and false imprisonment. This is far more than abusing her spouse.

'Turai is also abusing a sovereign nation. She is abusing and insulting the intelligence of a nation. Release President Yar'Adua now. Stop insulting and belittling his family. Even his mother is not allowed to see him. This is sacrilege. I think we should begin criminal proceeding against Turai for kidnapping and false imprisonment of President Yar'Adua.'

He urged the first lady to release President Yar'Adua to enable him address his countrymen about his health condition, saying Nigerians 'are no longer happy about the manner the first lady is insulting Nigeria.'

The Nobel laureate described the renewed Jos massacre that left more than 200 persons dead on Sunday as pathetic and sad.

Soyinka said Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ogbonna Onovo and other security chiefs in Plateau State and the country should be held responsible for the recent carnage and massacre.

Characteristically, Soyinka carpeted lawmakers at the state and national assemblies for their failure to do what is expected of them. He accused them of 'busy collecting Ghana Must Go' bags filled with state funds that could have been used to promote public welfares and well-being in the country.

He lampooned the IG and security forces for going to sleep while gunmen unleashed mayhem on innocent Nigerians in Jos, saying 'they should be held responsible. Worst still, the legislatures instead of doing what is expected of them, are busy collecting Ghana Must Go. Women should rise up because women and children are the major culprit of the crisis.