“I Am Saddened” – Wole Soyinka’ Response To Rivers Govt Calls To Refund Monies Spent To Host Him
Rivers State Information Commissioner , Dr Austin Tam-George, declared that the state government would demand a refund of the N82million expended by former Governor Rotimi Amaechi on Professor Wole Soyinka’s dinner if it confirms that the Nobel Laureate received part of the the funds in cash.
Below is Soyinka’s reaction to the allegation:
This morning, I saw only the headlines in one or two print media regarding the 80th Birthday dinner to which I was hosted by the former governor of Rivers State, the Honorable Rotimi Amechi, now Minister of Aviation. I ignored them. It was not, and remains not my business to probe into the catering and logistical implications of the hundreds of institutions and governments all over the world to whom I acknowledge an immense debt of unsolicited recognition over the years.
Since then however, I have learnt of some unsavory statements by the insecure incumbent of the Rivers State government Lodge. These included a loose invitation to anti-crime agencies to investigate the potential crime of being honoured through any occasion. The unprecedented call by this governor is prescient of a warning I recounted in my recent pamphlet publication THE REPUBLIC OF LIARS, and was taken from my address to an anti-corruption global conference that took place in Tunisia two years ago. Those words were: CORRUPTION STRIKES BACK. In this ongoing instance, that expression translates most vividly as “Those who are neck deep in the sewage of corruption ensure that they splatter sewage in all possible and improbable directions.”
I do however fully support the Wikeleaks call for multi-directional probes. I recommend further that he involve the services of INTERPOL to guarantee its extension to all international organisations and governments to whom I owe uncountable events of recognition – including birthday luncheons, dinners, cultural receptions and events of real, fictitious, or simply opportunistic flavoring – to which I have submitted myself.
The descent to this present level of abominable distractions makes one truly despair. It is one that even I did not envisage when I warned – CORRUPTION STRIKES BACK! Whether it brings honour or dishonour to the nation is another matter – I am saddened, but indifferent.
EFCC and company – over to you! You all know where I live.