Nigerian playwright and novelist, Professor Wole Soyinka, while speaking in Lagos on Thursday revealed how the Nigerian government rejected the help offered by the United States to track down terrorists in the country, claiming the lie detectors would not work in Nigeria.
He said the government refused the lie detectors and other technological support from the US, with the claim that such would not work on Nigerians.
He said he and several other concerned Nigerians had approached the US Embassy, and asked for the country’s support but was told there that the then president rejected support earlier offered.
He said, “The era of the slave trade is supposed to be over, if there is any impending violence, that qualifies us to ask for external, international help, I think it is the kidnapping and enslavement of our children, rather than look to mercenaries, let us ask for help internationally. A new era of slave trade is taking place and this is not a metaphor, you all know very well that we’re being sold in the market in Tripoli.
They hand them over in planes, aeroplanes, schools; we are overqualified for international assistance. Let us stop guiding spurious national integrity and false pride and say we have reached the limit.”
“A lot of these security issues can be solved by technology. When this tragedy happened, we approached the US Embassy on our own, and said we needed technical aid to solve these murders.”
“From the US Embassy, we phoned the president (then Olusegun Obasanjo) because they told us that they had offered assistance. I asked what happened. They said the president was hesitating, so I said “Let’s phone him right here.” We phoned the president, and I said to him,
“Don’t let it be heard that you were offered help to solve these murders and you failed.”
“He said to me, “Oh yes, they even talked about lie detectors, but you know Nigerians, they can beat any lie detector” he said, oh those machines. Then I said, “Take the help.” Let us stop relying on our empty pride and seek help.”