Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said the former president of the United states, Donald Trump, left behind a very negative legacy.
Trump was defeated in the November 2020 presidential election by Democrat Joe Biden who was formally sworn in as President on Wednesday despite Trump’s insistence on cancellation of the election results.
Soyinka said the controversial US past president had always suggested he was going to be negative but was not taken seriously.
Speaking in an interview with Arise TV, Soyinka said: “Trump is leaving behind a very negative legacy, but it’s a useful one because we learn also from negativity. People must go back to what Trump said from the very beginning that he was going to do, which he proceeded to pursue.
“He said, ‘I shall be a racist’ and he proved he was a racist, he said, ‘I will build a wall of separation’, he proceeded to build a wall of separation both internally in people’s minds and physically across the landscape of America.”
Soyinka also alleged that Trump’s sole agenda was to make former president, Barack Obama’s legacy fail, noting that Trump dismantled Obamacare, a major achievement of Obama’s administration.
He added: “Trump had one sole agenda and that was ‘dismantle Obama’, he made no bones about it, he and his other cohorts, they all said boldly, ‘yes, we are here to make Obama fail,’ they wanted to make the first Black African President of the United States fail in his mission.
“And then, really if you want to point at Trump, what he believed in, it is that mission of making a black man fail, and he pursued it, dismantled the positive achievement Obama had, in particular, Obamacare which was for the benefit of the poorer, lower classes of society and he put nothing else in its place. He ended up killing hundreds of thousands of Americans.”
The professor reiterated that Trump was leaving a negative legacy with emphasis on how Trump handled COVID-19 in the country.
“Upon his own admission, he did not let the nation know what had been discovered about COVID-19 and he said it in his own words, in an interview. He admitted he had the information he refused to share with scientists, so what legacy exactly are we talking about beyond negativities. The lesson is that don’t always mistrust politicians when they make promises; sometimes they actually mean to fulfil those promises.”
Soyinka earlier on Thursday said that he had forgiven Americans for electing Trump whom he described as a racist, monster and a xenophobe.
The Nobel Laureate, who had in 2016 torn his American immigrant visa to shreds over Trump’s victory, said he would not be renewing the green card since he could visit the United States even without it.
The playwright, who displayed pieces of his torn green card, stated that America had redeemed itself with Trump’s removal.
Soyinka said, “I feel honoured to be associated with the democratic forces of the United States for correcting the unbelievable error that they committed four years ago.”
On the green card issue, he said, “I consider myself back in that community from which I dissociated myself four years ago and I am very glad to be back but I am not renewing my green card, it is not necessary. I go in and out as a visiting alien and that is good enough for me.”
The Nobel Laureate said he was very much concerned with the US elections in 2016 because it has a huge Nigerian population, adding that America’s history would not be complete without blacks.
He said he tried to warn them about the impending danger of a Trump Presidency but his advice was ignored hence his decision to tear his green card to shreds.
Soyinka added, “The complacency was very painful and I said if you people are so careless as to let this racist, this monster, this xenophobic aberrant, this disrespect of the female gender, this serial bankrupt, this man who called your society a shithole country, if you are so careless as to let him become the next President, I am moving out.”
He said, in a way, he was happy about the attack on the Capitol building by pro-Trump rioters.
The playwright said he wanted Americans to understand how fragile democracy is.
“So, you can imagine what I have felt over the last few weeks, the siege on the Capitol. In a way, it was rather heartwarming for the Americans themselves to feel that what they have been fighting for over a year is not really a given in their society and they had to confront it in a brutal unbelievable way. They came out of it in flying colours.
“It is not over, not by any means, I don’t say that for a single moment but it has been a lesson for us in this continent and we should be grateful that it did happen. I am sorry, of course about the loss of life.
“I regret the disruption of normal life but now we are placed on the same playing level, that we are all fighting for the same virtue in human conduct, the same system we all believe in that you cannot take it for granted, not anymore. And for us here in Nigeria, it has been, I hope, it was a heartwarming occasion.”