By Eric Elezuo
Ever since the period prior to the United States of America’s Presidential Elections on November 8, 2016, the revered Nobel Laurette, Wole Soyinka, had come under great criticism following his public declaration that if maverick Republican candidate, Donald Trump, should win the election, he would tear his American Green Card.
And as if everything worked against him, Trump won against all odds, beating the overriding favourite, Hillary Clinton, in a keenly contested election. That was when Kongi’s problems started.
In the midst of mourning and sighs, Nigerians remembered the promise he made to tear his Green Card, and came heavily upon him to do as he promised. But the ebullient Professor of Literature-in-English, who obviously did not mean the threat he made, took it personal, and demanded the right anyone has to bambuzzle him into tearing his card, which, according to him, is his personal property.
In a twist of fate, Soyinka turned around to declare that the promise of tearing the residential document will the light of the day on January 20, 2017; the very day the President-elect, Donald Trump, will be sworn in as the incumbent President.
This, however, did not go down well with Nigerians and event watchers all over the world, who saw a loop in the integrity status of the 1986 Nobel winner, and told him so in very clear clear terms.
The effrontery irked Wole Soyinka the more, prompting him to declare that he will be conducting a funeral service on Trump’s inauguration, not to mourn his Presidency, but the ‘lost of sense in Niigerians’. Wole Soyinka insinuated that Nigerians are nothing short of ‘stupid’.
It obviously has not come to that, for the man Nigerians so revered to turn around and heap insults on his countrymen. Nigerians are not stupid in the real sense of because they never forced Soyinka to make the declaration he made. He must understand that he is a public figure, and careless talk should not be part of itineries. And when it mistakenly happen to be, he must follow it through. In this case, no amount of diplomacy can unsay what Soyinka has said, except of course he comes out clean to say he was sorry to say what he said; that it was a spot of an idle hour, quoting a former Minister of Education, Ben Nwabueze, who made a bogus promise to his university teachers in those days.
Well, Soyinka has started on a good note by apologizing to President Mohammadu Buhari for his outburst against Nigerians, but for his integrity to come back, though no longer intact, he needs to pick up a scissors, and begin a complete shredding of the Green Card. Yes, Nigerians will mourn with him, but he would have kept his word.
The Kongi should keep his promise and tear the card. That is our position; that is the position of Nigerians.