Wole Soyinka and Olusegun Obasanjo
Wole Soyinka and Olusegun Obasanjo
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Obasanjo is a compulsive liar – Soyinka

Yvonne Williams

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Wednesday, described former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s latest book, “My Watch” as a narrative by a career liar who was always determined to falsely project himself above his true standing among men.

Obasanjo had in his book described Soyinka as a self serving critic who always sought to standout out claiming that the Nobel Laureate is a “misfit as a political analyst, commentator or critic.”

He said, “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.”

“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,” adding “I take him seriously on almost all issues except on the political particularly Nigerian politics.

In response on Wednesday in a treatise, titled 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.

“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. I felt genuine empathy to read that he still has a pending thirty-year case instituted by him against his alleged libelers! Judgment was delivered in my favour regarding one of the most nauseating only this year, after surviving technical and other procrastinations, defendant evasions and other legalistic impediments for nearly as long as his. That leaves only a veritable Methuselah on the court list still awaiting re-listing under the resurrection ritual language known as de novo.

Unfortunately, not all acts of defamation or willful misrepresentation are actionable, otherwise, my personal list against this newly revealed fellow-sufferer would have counted for an independent volume of the Nigerian Law Report since our paths first crossed during the Civil War.

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, most especially since the work itself is currently under legal restraint and is not readily accessible to a general readership. So, for now, let me single out just one of the most glaring instances of this man’s compulsive career of lying, one sample that 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. I refer here to the grotesque and personally insulting, Soyinka added.

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