Jonathan Not Nebuchadnezzar, Okupe Replies Soyinka

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe has berated Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka over comments credited to him describing President Goodluck Jonathan as being worse than the ancient Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar.


Soyinka had made the comment at a news conference in Lagos but Okupe swiftly responded via a Short Message Service, SMS sent to State House Correspondents in Abuja.

He said although Jonathan was democratically elected, his actions had proved that he was more of a dictator, adding that he was a President that embraced impunity. In his response Okupe said that “Soyinka is playing the ostrich as he has deliberately ignored people who are actually engaged in impunity. For instance, Soyinka had failed to reprimand Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers who is the king of impunity. Our eminent professor also sadly plays the ostrich as he failed to reprimand Amaechi who is the national champion of impunity and official recklessness.’’


At the press conference at Freedom Park in Lagos, Soyinka blasted President Goodluck Jonathan for endorsing and encouraging the reign of ‎impunity in Nigeria even as the country traverses difficult times. Indeed, the title of his speech was: King Nebuchadnezzar – The Reign of Impunity. ‎Soyinka chronicled Jonathan’s abuse of power and described him as totally alienated from the reality that has engulfed the nation.

“That a national leader should go campaigning on the platform of ethnic support at a time when priorities dictate a United national engagement for survival, is a grotesque undertaking,” Soyinka said, referring to Jonathan’s visit at the Obafemi Awolowo University last week.

Jonathan has continued to degrade the political system by endorsing lawlessness and supporting lawless appointees, not minding the chaos Nigeria is going through, Soyinka said.

“Nothing is more unworthy of leadership than to degrade the system by which one attains fulfilment, and this is what the nation has witnessed time and time again in various parts of the nation, the recent affront against the legislative chamber being only the most blatant and unconscionable, ” Soyinka told

‎Soyinka said the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, has declared war on Nigeria and is undermining the democratic structure in Nigeria with his recent illegal actions and utterances. “The latest action of the supposed guardians of law against the nation’s lawgivers is an unambiguous declaration of war against the people,” Soyinka said, adding that “such a public servant deserves to be publicly pilloried, tried and meted a punishment that is appropriate to treasonable acts.”

Abba, Soyinka said, “Has wasted no time in inaugurating a season of brutish power”, but Nigerians have a choice to either submit or resist. “Let’s not beat around the bush: the line has been drawn. The people must decide – whether to submit or resist,” Soyinka said.

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