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“It is Like a Grownup Child Learning to Walk all Over Again,” Soyinka on the New Railway Project

Professor Wole Soyinka has made known his thoughts about the revitalization of rail transportation in the country.

While aboard a Lagos-Ibadan train, the 1986 Nobel Laureate winner, known for his overt criticism of politicians especially President Muhammadu Buhari, said the project was a major transport revolution.

Soyinka said, “I think really we are looking at a virtual major transport revolution long overdue, decades, in this nation.”

Soyinka aboard the train.

When asked about the economic impact of the revamped railway system in the country, Soyinka said, “I grew up with the railway. From Abeokuta to Lagos, Ibadan, my school days, it was all railway. Railway became a method for existence. The markets which lined the railway stations, a sheer romance with the engine and lack of traffic, which was a new phenomenon when it began.”

“Any kind of motion to restore that kind of sane way to the public is to me, a significant moment in any nation’s life. As I said, it is very sad, it is like a grownup child just learning to walk all over again. It is embarrassing, quite frankly.”

“However (to answer your question), once people recognize the fact that this is a sane way of locomotion, of transporting goods and even generating commerce, you will see a transformation of people’s mentality.”

Soyinka is not very fond of the President.

When asked if this development has changed his view of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, the 86-year-old Playwright said, “I don’t want to talk about the Muhammadu Buhari administration at all. I think it is best for my sanity just to avoid that overall question. I can take bits and pieces of Nigeria’s current predicament, but for one’s sense of balance, one should just forget the existence of the Buhari administration.”

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