Friday 26 December 2014

You’re A Compulsive Liar- Soyinka To Obasanjo

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday, gave a rebuttal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s latest book, “My Watch,” describing it as a narrative by a compulsive liar who is always determined to crookedly project himself above his true standing among men.
Affirming his general detestation of such men, Soyinka said the Obasanjo brand was compounded by the inclination of even foisting lies on members of the younger generation.
Obasanjo had in his book described Soyinka as a self-serving critic who always sought to shine out among men, claiming that the Nobel Laureate was a “misfit as a political analyst, commentator or 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,” wrote Obasanjo.
“He is surely a better wine connoisseur and a more successful “aparo” (guinea fowl) hunter than a political critic, not to talk of what he would do as a politician. I take him seriously on almost all issues except on the political, particularly Nigerian politics.”

But Soyinka in his reply treatise, entitled ‘Watch and Pray, Watch and Prey’, Soyinka said: “I had fully attuned myself to the fact that our Owu retiree soldier and prolific author is an infliction that those of us who share the same era and nation space must learn to endure.
“However, it does appear that there is no end to this individual’s capacity for infantile mischief, and for needless, mind-boggling provocations, such as his recent ‘literary’ intrusion on my peace.
“’Perhaps I ought to interrupt myself here with an apology to some mutual acquaintances – ‘blessed peacemakers’ and all – especially in this season of ‘peace and goodwill to all men’. Please know that your efforts have not been entirely in vain. I had a cordial exchange with Obasanjo over the phone recently – engineered by himself, his ground staff and/or a chance visitor – when I had cause to visit his Presidential Laundromat for the first time ever.

‘”During that exchange, I complemented him on making some quite positive use of landed property that was acquired under morally dubious circumstances, and blatantly developed through a process that I denounced as ‘executive extortionism’.
“That obscene proceeding has certainly set a competitive precedent for impunity in President Jonathan’s recent fundraising shindig, editorialized in THE PUNCH (Dec. 23, 2014) as “Impunity Taken too Far”.

“One of the incessant ironies that leapt up at me as I read Obasanjo’s magnum opus was that we are both victims of a number of distasteful impositions – such as being compelled again and again to seek justice against libel in the law courts.
“My commitment to the belief in the fundamental right of all human beings ‘not to be lied against’ remains a life obsession, and thus demands, at the very least, an obligation of non-commission among fellow victims. I must therefore reserve a full, frontal dissection of Obasanjo’s “My Watch” for later, especially since the work itself is currently under legal restraint and is not readily accessible to a general readership.

Soyinka described Obasanjo of having a “compulsive career of lying, which “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.”


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