Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has debunked a quote on Northern hegemony attributed to him by former Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof. Bola Akinterinwa.
Soyinka maintained that the ex-NIIA DG has fallen victim “of Nigeria’s fake attribution industry which has now attained hideous social dimensions”.
Akinterinwa, who is also the current Director-General of Bolytag Centre for International Diplomacy and Strategic Studies (BOCIDASS) had in an article published in a national daily quoted Soyinka as saying that Northern Nigeria will continue to control the government no matter who becomes the president because they (North) created a fraudulent constitution and population.
Debunking the quote attributed to him, the literary luminary in a statement personally signed by him on Monday, said he never made such statement, warning that “the increasingly bastardised social media will eventually set one country after the other on fire, leading eventually to a global conflagration”.
Soyinka said: “It is simply unfortunate that Akinterinwa has fallen for the operations of Nigeria’s fake attribution industry, which has now attained hideous social dimensions. The statement attributed to me in his essay is not mine. It belongs to the sharp practices of internet trolls with their own agenda, who however lack the balls to answer their fathers’ names. There is an appropriate name for them, but we shall avoid using it here. The section at issue reads as follows:
Nothing could be more interesting than what Professor Wole Soyinka was quoted as saying: ‘Northern Nigeria will continue to control the government no matter who becomes the president. This is because they created a fraudulent constitution in Nigeria, fraudulent population in the Northwest and more states in the North.’ More significantly, the African Nobel Laureate from Ogun State also noted that ‘Northern Nigeria was in charge of the government when Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan were president. Even if you make Igbo president, Northern Nigeria will still control the government. The best solution to Nigeria’s problem is for us to negotiate our existence.’”
“I never made such a statement. We have warned again and again. The increasingly bastardised social media will eventually set one country after the other on fire, leading eventually to a global conflagration. And the principal instigators will be those malformed subhumans who lack the courage of their conviction and must resort to Identity Theft of mounting impudence.
“Even the most elementary, but rational, mind-sustaining discourse has become a minefield of distortions, wholesale fabrications, half-truths, tendentious extrapolations that impose on serious thinkers and debaters superhuman navigation skills. I salute those who persist and attempt to retrieve this valuable medium from the mentally slow minority.
“In this connection, one brief comment: Professor Akinterinwa missed out on one leadership qualification that the nation desperately needs: a mass psychiatrist or an exorcist. Preferably both rolled in one.”