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Prof. Wole Soyinka ON Emi Lokan: How Memory Failed A Nobel Laureate And Literary Giant At When Nigeria Needed Him Most

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OPINION

Ekpenyong Isaiah-isababa

The condemnation of the Emi lokan musical gyration released by the Pyrate confraternity in their recent event in Lagos, which was sang to portray the health status of the APC 2023 presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on why he should rest rather than stand in for elections in 2023; by Nigeria literary giant and Nobel Lauret, Prof. Wole Soyinka, is an admonition that could be taken as a fatherly advise judging from the fact that Prof. Wole Soyinka is one of the founders, or today could be referred to as the founder of the National Seadogs, also known as the Pirate Confraternity, a social confraternity that was established at the University College Ibadan to fight social ills within and without the University campus.

That Prof. Wole Soyinka also distanced himself from from the Emi Lokan song, condemning it as a mockery of the health status of Bola Tinubu, which to him, should not have been so, is a testament to the fact that he has been a moral compass to the group and is still doing everything within his strength and might to remain so. But this also call to question the type of morality we practice in Africa, the very essence of this article and why I strongly believe that memory may have failed Prof. Wole Soyinka at when Nigerians needed him most, which can be attributed either to his age or some other natural factors that have taken toll on him.

The Emi Lokan song as sang by the pirates in 2022 is a true reflection of the very reason the Pirate confraternity was formed by Prof. Wole Soyinka and his colleagues at the University College Ibadan. For those who may not know, or for those who today sees the National Seadogs as another secret cult or agents of destruction; it was formed to bring likeminds within and without the University campus together to fight societal ills, which involves not keeping quiet when things have gone wrong.

Though the sick should not be mocked as no one has control over his/her health, but if forcing a sick man on a sick country to become president in 2023 is today very normal before the eyes of Prof. Wole Soyinka and he believes no one should talk, then, he directly gives us the right too to question the moral ground on which he stands to condemn the men and women that sang the Emi lokan song, judging also from the fact that he Prof. Wole Soyinka had in the recent past taken a more extreme route than even the Emi lokan song in condemning people and things he thought were not right.

I know Prof. Wole Soyinka will today say there should have been a better way of saying that Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not good for 2023 than singing the Emilokan song, but has Prof. Wole Soyinka forgotten 2014 and the things he said about other people, mostly President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience ? Has memory failed Prof. Wole Soyinka so soon to forget that when he made mockery of the stature of Patience Jonathan by calling her a Shipopotamus and calling Jonathan Goodluck, Nebuchadnezzar, that he was then hailed as a senior confrat man, Nobel Laureate and Literary Giant who speaks truth to power ? Has Prof. Wole Soyinka forgotten that the boys and girls that sang Emilokan learnt radical speaking or singing from him, that while he choosed to speak then in 2014, they have decided to do their own by singing in 2022, which all points to mockery of people?

For those who may have forgotten, in 2014 when the then Rivers State Commissioner of Police, CP Mathew Mbu had confrontation with the then governor of the State, Rotimi Amaechi; Prof. Wole Soyinka who was and is still an ally of Rotimi Amaechi took sides with the governor and in trying to defend the governor, did not spare the whole of Niger Delta region and the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan Patience. In one of his outburst talking to the press, Prof. Wole Soyinka could not hide the fact that he was an elderly man and a noble Lauret, openly mocked Patience Jonathan by calling her a Shipopotamus. In another event in 2014 when the National Assembly had confrontation with security agents where some of them were not allow to enter the Assembly complex, Prof. Wole Soyinka in condemning the situation, described President Goodluck Jonathan as Nebuchadnezzar.

Is Prof. Wole Soyinka not aware that when he was making mockery of other people and insulting them, that his junior confrat men were learning from him? Is he now trying to be morally correct because the mockery and insult he taught them  is now directed at his kinsman?

Is situation like the endsars and the current hardship Nigerians are passing through not enough for Prof. Wole Soyinka to call people names like in 2014? If his age has become a barrier, why is he condemning those still strong enough to do it now?

Emi lokan, if Prof. Wole Soyinka have forgotten, it is our turn to behave like him.

Ekpenyong Isaiah-isababa
Commander, Infantry Pen Battallion
isacool4good@yahoo.com 

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