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General News of Saturday, 11 June 2022


Soyinka denies trending tribute on Tinubu, condoles Akeredolu

Wole Soyinka Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has denied as false, reports that he wrote the flowery and glowing tribute which has been trending to the standard-bearer of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

This was after Tinubu won at the just concluded Presidential primaries of the ruling party where he polled 1,271 votes to emerge tops among all the contestants who jostled with him for the ticket of the party.

The literary icon who also condoled the Ondo State Government and the people of the state over the gruesome killings of worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, described last Sunday’s terror attack as a strong message Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

The denial of the tribute came yesterday in a statement by Abiola Owoare, spokesman to Professor Soyinka titled ‘I did not pay tribute to Tinubu-Soyinka’.

The tribute being debunked by Soyinka went viral on various social media platforms shortly after the emergence of Tinubu as the standard bearer of the APC where he allegedly praised the sterling accomplishments of the politician.

“The literary luminary reiterated his position on the 2023 elections and the issues surrounding it, noting that he has no business meddling in the struggle for power by political parties in the country,” the statement insisted.

The said tribute came after another similar material allegedly endorsing Tinubu for 2023 presidency also trended even when the literary giant insisted that he did not maintain any social media accounts and any material coming from such should be discountenanced.

Soyinka had always dismissed such posts as the handiwork of indolent never do wells who were identity thieves whose stock in trade was to deceive the general public with fake media posts to leverage on peoples’ prominence.

The Nobel laureate noted that the attack was on Governor Akeredolu whom he said has been showing leadership in terms of internal liberation.

Prof. Soyinka stated this during a condolence visit to Governor Akeredolu (SAN) in Akure.

“We are dealing with people who are obsessed with domination; it is in their blood, it is in their creed, their psyche that they need to dominate,” Soyinka said.

“He was targeted and there is no question about that. It was not an accident, and it is passing a message to the rest of us. That is why I’m here. I want the Governor to know that we have received the message. We understand it and we came to sympathise with him that he was selected as a medium of that message.

“So, the answer we must give to the message we all received is that we are not slaves. Here, on our own soil, having had the experience of centuries of disdain, contempt about us as black people. Again some characters come along calling themselves whatever, ISWAP, Boko Haram. So, all those groups including those who are just opportunists – the herdsmen, they are making a mistake. I want the Governor to realise they are making a mistake.

“I have been on this issue for quite some times. This invasion has been on and these herdsmen are all over the forests. At a time we thought it was Boko Haram, we didn’t know that Fulani herdsmen were capitalising on the fundamentalist insurgency and brutality. And that is why we see a nexus of operation between ISWAP, Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. They work singularly, individually and they work collectively. I Know Ondo State has always been at the forefront of awareness,” Soyinka further said.

Akeredolu appreciated the Nobel laureate for the condolence visit, saying that the state will remain hugely indebted to him.

“It is a cause that he has dedicated his life to, and I thank God for his life. The state wants to appreciate you for finding time to come at this hour of grief.

“This is like a dagger drawn to our heart, and it is an assault on our psyche. The psyche of those of us in the South-west and Western Region.

“I think they think they can create some fears in us but they made a mistake because this will make us more fierce in our condemnation of their actions. And we are not hiding it.”

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