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From wine taster to ignorant mischief maker: Wole Soyinka certainly knows how to pick his battles

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From wine taster to ignorant mischief maker: Wole Soyinka certainly knows how to pick his battles

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has once again ticked off another politician, this time, in the person of former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola who has described the author as an ignorant mischief maker.

Soyinka frequently gets into fights with big names, with former President Olusegun Obasanjo describing him in his book as a wine taster, a tag that was also used on the literary icon by a former Ogun governor, Gbenga Daniel. He also exchanged words frequently with former first lady, Patience Jonathan.

The latest of Soyinka’s battle with Oyinlola followed comments made by Soyinka over the chairmanship of the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, in Osogbo. While calling Soyinka ignorant, Oyinlola explained that he would soon respond officially to the criticism.

Meanwhile, another of Oyinlola’s aides, told Punch Newspapers that Oyinlola was surprised that Soyinka was fighting over a centre, whose creation he opposed in 2008.

He said, “There is a sense in which one can excuse his outburst because it seems he does not understand the mechanism that established the institute.

“He is simply ignorant. He is talking as if the centre is just an Osun thing, whereas its status is that of a trust in which Osun State is a major stakeholder just as the Federal Republic of Nigeria and UNESCO are.

“That is why, on the board, each of these stakeholders has a representative. The Federal Ministry of Culture is representing the Federal Government. Osun is represented by the state’s Ministry of Culture. Prof. Peter Okebukola is on the board, representing the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta while the late Uli Beier family is also represented. So, how can an individual or a party claim ownership of such a centre?

“But we know that beyond ignorance, Soyinka is also being mischievous. Someone of his status should know the facts. He also ought to know that all he is doing is medicine after death and it ought to be a matter of shame because he opposed the establishment of the CIBU when we were struggling to get UNESCO approval.”

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