Nigeria News: Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka warns of possible civil war

Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka arrives to joint fellow activists for the protest march 11 December 2006 in Lagos. Civil rights activists marched through the streets of Lagos to protest the style of leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo, including the on-going electronic voters registration which is believed could deny millions of eligible voters their right.</p>

Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka arrives to joint fellow activists for the protest march 11 December 2006 in Lagos. Civil rights activists marched through the streets of Lagos to protest the style of leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo, including the on-going electronic voters registration which is believed could deny millions of eligible voters their right.

NAIROBI, Kenya — Nigerian playwright, author, poet and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka is worried about where his country is headed, perhaps towards civil war, again.

In a plea co-written with Chinua Achebe and JP Clark, he writes:

The fears we have all secretly nursed are coming to realization. The nightmare we have hugged to our individual breasts, voicing them only in family privacy, or within trusted caucuses of friends and colleagues – lest they become instances of materializing evil thoughts – has finally burst through into our social, physical environment. Rumblings and veiled threats have given way to eruption, and the first cracks in the wall of patience and forbearance can no longer be wished away.

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The writers are talking about the Islamist group Boko Haram, whose targeted killings of Christians threatens to tear the country apart along one of its most fundamental faultlines. Here Soyinka talks to BBC World Service radio about "religious virulence" and his fears for Nigeria's future.

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