Nigerians must forgive Buhari's past, says Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka, Africa’s first Nobel Laureate for Literature

Africa’s first Nobel laureate for literature, Wole Soyinka, said Nigerians must show a Nelson Mandela-like ability to forgive president-elect Muhammadu Buhari’s past as an iron-fisted military ruler.

“I criticized him for certain acts during his stint as a military dictator,” Soyinka, the 80-year-old playwright and poet, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Africa on Wednesday at his hillside home in the southwestern Nigerian town of Abeokuta. “But I also insist that it’s about time we try our best to be mini-Mandelas, to learn there’s a moment when we must put the past aside.”

Buhari’s 20-month term as Nigeria‘s military head of state of Africa’s biggest oil producer when he overthrew an elected government in 1983 included a campaign against “indiscipline,” in which the press was muzzled, hundreds of politicians, businessmen and journalists were jailed and police officers ordered to hit people who didn’t line up to wait for the bus.

Read more: Nigerians Must Forgive Buhari’s Past, Laureate Soyinka Says – Bloomberg Business.