6 May 2015

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka denies insulting Igbo

An angry Wole Soyinka, Wednesday, lashed out at news outlets which credited to him with a disparaging statement against the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria.

In a terse statement, Mr. Soyinka attributed the report to the handiwork of “cowards” who fasten their “imbecilic pronouncements” on others.
“I have just read a statement attributed to me on something called The Cable, a news outlet, evidently one of the Internet infestations,” said Mr. Soyinka, a professor of Comparative Literature.

“My lecture at the Hutchins Centre, Harvard University, was video recorded. Anyone who believes what I am alleged to have said must be a moron – repeat, a moron.

“It is demeaning, sickening and boring to have to deal with these cowards who cannot fight their own battles but must fasten their imbecilic pronouncements on others.
Several online news media had reported Tuesday that Mr. Soyinka had described the Igbos as a “greedy” group.

The Nobel Laureate had delivered a lecture on April 29th titled, ‘Predicting Nigeria? Electoral Ironies’ at the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs in the U.S.

The alleged comment ignited a scathing backlash against Mr. Soyinka on social media as critics likened the statement to the anti-Igbo speech of Rilwanu Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos.

But Mr. Soyinka denied making such a statement.
“Only the mentally retarded will credit this comment attributed to me regarding the Ndigbo voting pattern in the last elections,” he said.

“I strongly suspect the author of this despicable concoction, and may make a further statement, once the source is verified.”
Credit: Ben Ezeamalu/Premium Times

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