By Pa Ikhide
Dr. Wale Okediran spends the weekend in the company of Professor Wole Soyinka and his friends and he is so awed by these honorable men that loiter in the shadows of Soyinka’s great mien he is inspired to pen breathless observations in an essay. Snippets of his essay:
“And as Kunle and I made our way to board our car for the trip to Kuto Cultural Centre, we saw a familiar figure behind the wheel of a black Land Rover packed in front of the annexe. It was the former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi who had obviously driven himself all the way from Lagos. Not showing any sign of having just gone through the rigour of a Ministerial screening, Amaechi still looked fresh and in high spirits.”
“It was a long but fascinating Inauguration made up of speeches, poetry recitations, readings, a film screening as well a performance of excerpts of Wole Soyinka’s Alapata Apata by Tunde Awosanmi before Governor Adams Oshiomole did the informal presentation of Kong’s latest book; ‘The Republic Of Liars’.”
“And as I came to the end of the refreshing weekend with one of the greatest living writers in the world, I counted myself lucky of such a worthy company.” – Dr. Wale Okediran
Soyinka is worthy company but I certainly would not include his friends in the term “worthy.” Not Rotimi Amaechi, not Adams Oshiomhole. But then what does it say of Soyinka and Okediran and all the writers mentioned in this fawning essay that they are all happily mingling and chopping life with the runners of Nigeria? Rotimi Amaechi goes to Soyinka’s country home to cool off after a grueling “ministerial grilling. “Interesting.” Imagine that. They would say, well, he has not being convicted in a court of law. Neither has Obasanjo. Nor IBB. Nor Tinubu. Nor Atiku. Somehow, the treasury just emptied itself. SMH.
Summary: Nigerian writers and “public intellectuals are gallivanting all over the place with the known enemies of the nation, kleptomaniacs who have looted the place dry. Do what we say, not what we do is their motto. But then, na today? In Africa, crooks, buffoons and writers have always bonded nicely. Soyinka and IBB. Dele Giwa and Kayode Soyinka were in the habit of writing IBB’s speeches. We still don’t know who killed Dele Giwa. Obasanjo regularly holds forth at the Ake Book Festival, indeed it is the case that the conference hotel (a multimillion dollar affair) is owned by him. He also owns a university by the way, proceeds from his pension as a retired general. At the festival he is asked hard questions about his misrule (“How madam them?”), and so on and so forth. El-Rufai, the one that gave us the monster called Abuja will be at Ake, holding forth on good governance and honesty, blah, blah, blah. Writers will line up to take selfies with him. At night, over red wine and cheese supplied generously by Western sponsors, they will write weepy poverty porn about Africa, the open sore of our world, and corruption, rape, blah, blah, blah. It will be published by an adoring West.
We are the problem. How can you in good conscience be a moral authority on what plagues our nation when Rotimi Amaechi is your co-traveler? We are all hypocrites and bad role models to the younger generation. Including me by the way. I went to Ake in 2013. I had a great time. When I found out that the hotel I was housed in was owned by Obasanjo, did I leave? Hell no, I settled down, drank my red wine, ate their cheese, and wrote my own weepy fawning essay. Na today? We are all honorable people. SMH
Oya read, Dr. Okediran’s essay. Good morning.
Get more stuff like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.