A Letter To Prof. Wole Soyinka

A Letter To Prof. Wole Soyinka

A Letter To Prof. Wole Soyinka

I bring you greetings from Port Harcourt. Fortunately, from my location, no hippos are in sight. Your place in history is securely established. You are one of the very few that have been consistent through the decades in your stance. Every regime since independence has felt your bold presence. Your mastery of words is extraordinary…so good that people are afraid of replying you (for fear of exposing their lingual deficiency – by the way, I face that risk too).

Prof, you are one of the few that excelled both in the academic world and the audacious realm of activism. At my age, you were already declared an enemy of the Nigerian state for daring to stand hand in hand with truth. Time has proved you one of Nigeria’s finest, and no one can negotiate that. It is in the light of this remarkable persona that I am bothered by your position on the rumble in the deltaic plains of Rivers State. Your summation, I'm afraid, is uncharacteristically one sided. 

 In your press conference, you brought to fore the brash affront to arithmetic rules, where 16 became greater than 19 and more recently 5 outnumbering 27. Prof, I share in your disgust. My discipline exposed me to mathematics beyond the ordinary. In all my romance with the subject, the only aspect of math that made provision for this absurd is found in the O LEVEL topic - Inequalities. However, that is only applied in finding unknowns and where a solution is only reached if it satisfies a condition (if the inequality is true). In these political equations at hand, there were no variables (unknowns) but constants - 35 and 32 respectively. Therefore 5 > 27 and 16 > 19 cannot be solutions to the political inequalities, respectively. Take this to CERN, take it to NASA, It defies both logic and mathematics, and I cannot agree any less with you as to the absurdity.

 However, this numerical tragedy is not more disgusting than the show of shame at a chamber that should boast of hallowed men, and not the hollow species we saw on TV, Tuesday last. We saw a pro-Amaechi law maker hack down a colleague almost to the point of death. They said he was provoked. What manner of provocation should make a legislator act in such berserk manner (exponentially disproportionate to the magnitude of provocation)? Or is this the real case of failure to get the swamp out of the hippopotamus as you stated in your follow up? Also, no provocation should make the executive governor put himself in harm’s way in the manner in which he did. Imagine if anything had happened to him. We also saw a man clad in Police uniform and another, both alleged to be the Governor’s aides, joining in the melee. However, I find it surprising that you didn't reserve any choice word of condemnation for these acts of brigandage. You traced everything to the door step of the first lady, who at that time we read in the papers, was many time zones ahead in China. Prof, that is not a complete picture neither is it a fair assessment.

In your press conference, you described the first lady as a domestic appendage of power. Coming from a constitutional perspective, yes this is understandable for there is no phrase or compound word called “first lady” in the constitution. Prof, similarly, the constitution makes no such provision for a tier or arm of government, either implicitly or explicitly, called “Nigerian Governors Forum”. Unfortunately, the NGF is fast becoming another tier of government. It is as much a travesty as 16 > 19 portends. They gang up and stampede the President, deplete the excess crude account with reckless abandon and protect the political estates of members.

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