First Lady, Patience Jonathan has taken a swipe at the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature winner, Prof Wole Soyinka, calling on him to respect his age and stop misleading the public.
Reacting to Soyinka’s accusation that President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife are responsible for the crisis rocking Rivers state, Mrs. Jonathan said as an influential global figure, he should consider all the shades of issue before making pronouncement.
Speaking through her Media Assistant, Ayo Osinlu, the First Lady said Soyinka goofed by embarking on propaganda that is capable of threatening the fragile peace in the state.
She therefore, enjoined him to advise the state Governor Rotimi Amaechi to retrace his steps and make peace with his people and party.
The statement by Osinlu reads in full, “Professor Wole Soyinka has a large following. This arises from his status as a global leading light of scholarship, the highlight of which was his Nobel Prize for Literature victory of 1986. His popularity also flows from his place as a teacher, through whose hands very many have passed.
“From both stand points, his opinions are highly influential, to the degree of having the capacity of shaping the views of many of his admirers around the world.
“This privilege naturally imposes a moral duty on the Prof, to carefully consider ALL the shades of the issues that inform his opinions.
“That way, he will avoid the misfortune of misleading his followers at home and around the world, and also fit properly into the socially constructive role expected of a man his age.
“Unfortunately, Soyinka betrayed this moral duty in his recent diatribe against the First Lady, Dame (Dr.) Patience Goodluck Jonathan. Of course this would not be the first time he would reach out against the First Lady, usually from self-righteously indignant lecterns.
“In this particular instance, his verdict was that Dame Jonathan was “stoking the crisis currently rocking her home state of Rivers…”, and thereupon asked Mr. President “to call his wife to order”.
“The good, old Prof reminds one of the truth that indeed, most of the giants on the street are men of like passions like everyone else. Worse still, most of them are actually standing on clay feet and would fail the test of a gentle push!
“Otherwise, who would have believed that the social, civil, constitutional and sundry rights crusader Prof will maintain a safe distance from the heart of an activity that is a potential threat to the peace, security and safety of the people of a state, then collect exaggerated stories and jaundiced perspectives from familiar propagandists and character assassins, and promptly summon the media to a “state of the nation” address!
“It’s an embarrassment to his throng of admirers and followers,that a sage of Prof Soyinka’s status, who used to be a gauge of public morality in this nation, would lend himself to a propaganda of high drive, to save a governor who elected to launch into a river without applicable survival skills.
“The calculation is of course clear. Attack the President and pull to pieces anyone associated with him, as a strategy for attracting public sympathy to the “clear underdog.” So, as his contribution to this project, the ageless war horse offers the elevated opinion, that Patience Jonathan is the problem with Gov. Amaechi.
“Prof Soyinka’s friendship with Amaechi is no secret. There is no attempt by the two to hide it, anyway. On the premise of that, the cerebral prodigy should encourage his younger friend to retrace his steps, make peace with his party and the people` of his state, as well as smoothen the feathers he has ruffled.
“That is a more progressive way of sorting the mess, rather than make a career out of smearing the name of the First Lady, in the hope that the public would disapprovingly exclaim “leave the poor boy alone!”