November 14, 1996, Nigeria witnessing an new dimension in political terrorism as Chief Security Officer of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Dr. Shola Omoshola and a man identified as Neslon Gbolahan Kassim wre bombed inside a Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria’s official car in which they were riding to the airport, Lagos police Commissioner, Abubakar Tsav as well as the Airport police chief, Mohammed Abubakar, in the report of their preliminary in investigation told be wildered reporters that NADECO was responsible for the blast and that Nelson Kassim was an agent of Professor Wole Soyinka’s National Liberation Council.
Ironically, when the police pointed accusing fingers at Wole Soyinka and NADECO, the Nigerian populace believed otherwise. With three more blasts since the incident of November 14, 1995 the police have further bolstered their accusation. Their investigation
Ibrahim Coomasie the inspector-General of police said revealed a strong connection between the blast and pro-democracy group.
All the people mentioned in connection with the blast denied their involvement. Soyinka himself threatened he would go to court to protect his integrity as soon as the atmosphere became conducive for him to do so.
Within the academic community, general view is that the police are making Soyinka the scapegoat of regime. Like a character, Frankenstein in George Orwell’s novel – 1984. Who was said to be responsible for anything that went wrong. When children disobeyed their parents, it was Frankenstein or his agent. Lai Olurode, sociology lecturer at University of Lagos felt that whatever threats Soyinka made against the regime were mere a threats. He believed Soyinka had no means of affecting a violent overthrow of the regime or embark on a campaign of terrorism: “As an intellectual, he knows the consequence of such actions. Besides, the society is too closely woven; any act of terrorism could affect members of terrorist’s family.” Dr. Segun Olakanmi, a medical practitioner told Conscience International that Soyinka be trusted with some sense of responsibility. “He is principled, he has never fought a wrong cause and has always been on the side of justice of fairplay”. To Olakanmi, the fault of Soyinka being in exile has its antecedent in the heartless annulment of June 12, 1993 elections by General Ibrahim Babandiga. He said, “If General Abacha’s regime had solved the June 12 crisis top the satisfaction of everybody, Wole Soyinka would not have been regarded as a threat to the regime.”
But Soyinka himself did not help matters. In launching the NALICON in September 1995, he was quoted as saying that the Abacha regime would not be allowed to leave on its own term. Simply, what he was preaching was a violent overthrow of the regime. In the same period, he was reported to have said that Nigeria would witness serious acts of violence including armed struggle. Although he added a provision that such a situation would arise if the government continues to strangulate Nigeria and Nigerians. It is an open secret that NALICON believes Nigerians are still being strangulated by this regime.
There has been a series of bomb blasts in the country since 1995. In May of that year, at the launching of the Family Support Programme (FSP) in Ilorin, Kwara State, a blast went off and killed two instantly and injured 28 others. The death of Ibrahim Abacha, first son of General Sani Abacha in a plane crash on January 17, 1996 was said to be due to an explosion which occurred five minutes to landing at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.
If people did not make anything out of this, two series of bomb blast that followed on January 18 and 19, 1996 shocked them to a sense of siege. The first which happened at Aminu Kano International Airport ripped open the newly built toilet.
In the second blast following day at Durbar Hotel, Kaduna, a man was reportedly found dead in one of the toilets, on him was allegedly found a newly purchased copy of Wole Soyinka’s book. But do these incidents link Soyinka directly? Most people believe nothing directly connects him with them.
His Statement in response to the series of bomb blast aimed obviously at the Lagos state Administration and military generally however, disappoint his admirers. Asked whether he knew about the series of bomb blasts, Soyinka said no. He was furher asked whether he support the use of violence against the regime of Abacha, he said he supported anything aimed at flushing out the Abacha regime. The obvious implication of this is that though he claimed not to be involved, he is happy with those involved. His critics believe there’s no other name for conspiracy?
In January this year, a faceless group called the Liberation Organization of Nigeria in an unsigned statement claimed responsibility for the series of bomb blasts. Its reason was: “nowhere in the world have tyrannical juntas been removed without hitting them where it hurts”. The police however, believe that LON or not,
NALICON which they described as the military wing of NADECO is involved. Only time will tell who indeed is telling the truth. Just as we were about to press, our reporter stumbled on fresh revelations that Dr. Olu Agunloye’s letter of appointment as Director of Organization and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Commission, signed by Professor Wole Soyinka and dated August 9, 1988 had no reference number and was expected to terminate on March 31, 1989.
Before this letter, we learnt, Dr. Agunloye was a consultant to the FRSC and was operating through his company Faggol. We were told also by realibale sources that s CEO of FRSC he was throughout his tenure of office not a public officer as he had file at the Federal Service Abuja.
It was further through the letters that at time he was consultant to FRSC, he was a sole signatory to an FRSC account at the International Bank for West Africa Limited, U.I. Branch. Ibadan. The account number 35-002-701D was operated by Agunloye for the FRSC when the physicist’s letter to the bank of February 22, 1989 eight clear months after the first, Agunloye wrote to instruct the bank that the account be designated Dr. Olu Agunloye/ FRSC. This was followed by yet another letter asking the account to be redesignated FRSC RSHQ but that he Agunloye will continue as the sole signatory to the account “until the process of further change is completed and officially communicated to you (manger)”
Our source point that the issue stated above attest to a clear case of complicity in fraudulent activities by Wole Soyinka. It was he who appointed his friend (Agunloye) to the office of CEO of FRSC and looked the other way even when the IBWA account of FRSC was being managed by his (Soyinka’s) Prodigee.