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Wole Soyinka Nobel laureate says Obasanjo is a shameless liar

Obasanjo, in the book, described the playwright as a misfit saying that he is a better wine connoisseur and guinea fowl hunter than he is a political critic.

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Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka and former President, Olusegun Obasanjo play

Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka and former President, Olusegun Obasanjo


Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has called former President, Olusegun Obasanjo a liar and a shameless man in response to some comments made by Obasanjo in his controversial autobiography, “My Watch”.

Obasanjo, in the book, described the playwright as a misfit saying that he is a better wine connoisseur and guinea fowl hunter than he is a political critic.

 “For Wole, no one can be good, nor can anything be spot-on politically except that which emanates from him or is ordained by him. His friends and loved ones will always be right and correct no matter what they do or fail to do. He is surely a better wine connoisseur and a more successful aparo (guinea fowl) hunter than a political critic,” Obasanjo wrote.

In response, Professor Soyinka, in a piece titled “Watch And Pray, Watch And Prey”, said:

 “I despise that species of humanity whose stock-in-trade is to concoct lies simply to score a point, win an argument, puff up his or her own ego, denigrate or attempt to destroy a fellow being. However, even within such deplorable species, a special pit of universal opprobrium is surely reserved for those who even lack the courage of their own lies, but must foist them on others.”

 “For now, let me single out just one of the most glaring instances of this man’s compulsive career of lying, one sample that the media can readily check upon and use as a touchstone – if they do need one – in assessing our author’s multifaceted claims and commentaries on people and events.I refer here to the grotesque and personally insulting statement that he has attributed to me for some inscrutable but obviously diversionary reasons.”

“In the process, this past Master of Mendacity brazenly implicates an innocent young man, Akin Osuntokun, who once served him as a special adviser. Instead of conferring dignity on a direct rebuttal of an ignoble fabrication, I shall simply make a personal, all-embracing attestation: When an old man stuffs a lie into the throat of an age-mate of his own children – omo inu e! – we can only pity an irredeemable egomaniac whose dotage is headed for twilight disgrace,” Soyinka continued.

The literary icon also stated that Obasanjo had no right to criticize President Goodluck Jonathan drawing similarities between the incumbent’s recent N21bn fundraiser and the former president’s similar actions to fund his library.

 “That obscene proceeding (Obasanjo’s Library Fund-raising) has certainly set a competitive precedent for impunity in President Jonathan’s recent fund-raising shindig, editorialised in The PUNCH (Dec. 23, 2014) as Impunity Taken too Far. So much for the latest from that direction – we mustn’t allow Handing-Over notes between presidents to distract us for too long,” Soyinka wrote.

“In this season of goodwill, we owe a duty to our immediate and distant neighbours: CAVEAT EMPTOR! Let all beware, who try to buy a Rolex from this indefatigable watch peddler. Our author invokes God tirelessly, without provocation, without necessity and without justification, perhaps pre-emptively, but does he really believe in such an entity? Does our home-bred Double-O-Seven believe in anything outside his own Omnipotence?”

“Could he possibly have mistaken the Christian exhortation – ‘Watch and Pray’ for his private inclination to “Watch and Prey”? This is a seasoned predator on others’ achievements – he preys on their names, their characters, their motivations, their true lives, preys on gossip and preys on facts, preys on contributions to collective undertakings…..even preys on their identities, substituting his own where possible,” the playwright added.

 “This man forgot the beings of earth, forgot the beings of heaven, in turn, he forgot the presence of God. The worst kind of behaviour agitated his hands – greed occupied the centre of his heart, and he was a creature that walked in darkness. This man wallowed in bribery, he was chairman of the circle of scheming, head of the gang of double-dealing, field-marshal of those who crept about in the dark of night. With his mouth, he ruined the work of others, while he used a big potsherd to cover the good works of some, that others might not see their attainments.”

“He nosed around for secrets that would entrap his companions, and blew them up into monumental crimes in the eyes of the world. He who turns the world upside down, places the deceitful on the throne, casts the truthful down – because such is a being of base earth, he will never stand as equal among the uplifted,” Soyinka said.

Obasanjo has angered many with his book in which he calls Jonathan callous and selfish and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar a liar.

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