Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday lamented the seeming triumph of evil over good as being demonstrated in the incessant killings and violent dislodging of citizens of this country with impunity by bandits and militia groups. Soyinka, who spoke on the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife before unveiling the logo of 2018 OAU Ife Festival of Foods and Identity being organised by the Institute of Cultural Studies, said the Federal Government must reverse the trend, adding that failure to do so will mean no government exist in the country. Prof. Soyinka observed that this is not the best time for Nigeria, noting that despite the harsh times, Nigerians must not allow destruction of the moment to overwhelm them. He said between the time of the launch of the logo and the period the festival would begin, the country must have seen the reversal of the evil and the triumph of good. “This is not the best of times for this nation. For us as a people, it is not the most cheerful of times, we have a responsibility to ourselves as living beings not to allow destruction to overtake or overwhelm our creativity. “We shall beat swords into plough shears, it means the instrument of cultivation. We must overcome the instrument of destruction. “Between the time of the launching of this logo and the action manifestation of the festival itself, we should have seen signs that the clash between swords and the plougshers is reversed. This would have given us total fulfillment as people with culture, peace and harmony. “We cannot continue to see the seeming triumph of the guns over the ploughshear. We want to see this government’s reversal of the triumph of the swords over the plough shears. If this has not taken place, it means we have no government. “Between the annunciation of this festival and the manifestation of the festival itself we want to see from this government a reversal of a seeming triumph of the gun, if that has not taken place, let us not lie to ourselves, it means that we dont have government. “If those who had been displaced, the farmer that has been displaced in their hundreds from various parts of this nation especially in the north, if the farmers have not been taken back to thier productive environment, it means we have no government. Let us all join hands to bet the sword into ploughshares,” Soyinka said. Earlier in his address, OAU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, said the importance of food to the healthy living cannot be overemphasised. He noted that Obafemi Awolowo University will continue to promote ventures with capacity to project positively the Yoruba culture. Giving details of the festival, the Director, Institute of Cultural Studies, OAU, Dr. Ayoh Omidire, said during the festival which begins July 30,celebrity shelve would be built where some important dignitaries would be invited to cook their favourite dishes.
He added that apart from various Nigerian dishes that would be prepared, Omidire said people across Africa have also been invited to participate in the event.