Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has told the Nigerian government to be more focused and refuse to be deterred in its effort at bringing all those who looted the nation’s treasury to justice.
Soyinka said this while fielding questions from newsmen when the Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, paid him a courtesy visit at the Freedom Park in Lagos on Saturday.
The visit was part of the minister’s tour of agencies and parastatals under his ministry.
The Nobel laureate was unequivocal in his support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s quest to stamp out corruption, urging the government neither to relent nor be cowed by the deliberate attempts to frustrate the anti-corruption crusade by the beneficiaries of corrupt regimes.
“There is no question whatsoever that we are not where we were before this new administration took over , but we all have to be very careful.
“Corruption fights back and the hardiest fighters are those who are at the cesspit of corruption.
“There is no retreat; no matter what libellous garbage comes out from any part of this country,” he said.
Soyinka expressed confidence in the government’s readiness to successfully prosecute any group or individual found to have stolen or misappropriated the nation’s funds.
“We haven’t had corruption being exposed on this scale in this country before. We never had the experience where we have been in a state of critical emergency.
“We haven’t had such exposure and because of this reason corruption has decided to fight back,” Soyinka added.
Soyinka described as insulting, news making the rounds accusing him of engaging in corrupt practices.
While calling those peddling such rumour “desperate individuals“, he expressed his readiness to face the appropriate legal authority if properly invited.
On his part, Mohammed expressed government’s resolve to develop the arts industry.
He said that the ministry was currently strategising on how to tap into the opportunities and potentials in the culture and arts industry to create jobs for Nigerian youths.
By Say Ramoni, Lagos