Professor Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate has stated that he will evaluate President Bola Tinubu’s administration after a year in office.
Soyinka revealed that he had engaged in discussions about a seven-point agenda with the president.
Soyinka, addressing journalists after meeting with President Tinubu during his Christmas vacation in Lagos, mentioned his policy of refraining from criticizing governments until they complete their first year in office.
The Nobel Laureate said he visited the president and his family to commemorate the Christmas season, adding that he knows that most leaders of the country have had to start the process of leading the country to development from below ground zero, a circumstance which he said would make criticism at that point unfair.
Soyinka, who revealed that he had advised President Tinubu against running for Nigeria’s President, how said he would not say yet whether going against his advice had panned out well for the President until after one year in office.
“My first visit, actually it was an embarrassing visit because when I visited him the last time, it was to try and persuade him not to run for office. I think I’ve written about that. I told Atiku and himself that they should please leave the ground for young people. That was the last time we met, about five years ago.
“I call him, secretly, olorikunkun, a stubborn man, so he ignored my advice completely.
“So I came to see how’s doing after neglecting my advice, I wanted to see if both he and his wife were weathering Nigeria as well as can be expected and to wish them happy Christmas. You know we’re friends, as you know, very well, and it was as a friend that I told him don’t run, leave this thing alone, but he ignored me”, he said.
Asked if he had been convinced that the President made a good choice by running for the office he was advised against, Soyinka said
“Something you may have noticed about me, like when most heads of state take office, I always leave them alone for about the first year, if you have noticed that because I know when they come in, they don’t start from ground zero, they often start even lower than ground zero and they have to make up.
“So I have this personal policy, whether it’s Obasanjo o, Buhari o, or Jonathan, you will notice that during the first year, I hardly say anything, then people will ask me why are you not talking and I will tell them, go and ask the last person whether I spoke during the first year. So, I’m adopting the same principle. At the end of one year, ask me this question.”
Asked what he would like to see the Tinubu administration achieve, he said “that’s very simple. I came here with a seven agenda and we had a very thorough discussion on those items.”