By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka on Tuesday lamented that some people are trying to use him to start a tribal war in the country.
Soyinka spoke at the Freedom Park on Lagos Island during the presentation of two books-‘Between Defective Memory and the Public Lie’ and ‘Green Cards, Green Gods’ under Intervention six and seven series.
Soyinka, who was reacting to the negative social media reportage of the wedding of his son, Tunlewa and Nneka Ekechukwu said some people were trying to get at him by painting the wedding in bad light.
According to Soyinka, his son and Nneka had become victims of other people’s viciousness, asking whether it was a crime now for people to get married, while taking a swipe at the social media.
He said the reports on social media said his son, a 20-year man wedded a 30-year old woman, which he said was purely a lie as his son is 27 years while Nneka is 26 years old.
“In the so called social media, some people went and published the pictures in the wedding which took place in June. Nobody heard about it, I like to do things quietly, so very limited people received invitation. But why publish on your facebook such egregious lies saying my son was 20 years old and married a 30 year old woman?
Soyinka said he knew well that his son, Tunlewa is 27 years while Nneka is 26 years.
According to him, they had the right to marry, adding that there was an underlying reason behind such obnoxious report on social media.
“When I say these things are not spontaneous, it is part of what I am talking about. You sat down and you concocted a story. You have a purpose.
“What that purpose is, I know because it is not really those kids you are getting at, it is Wole Soyinka, it is not even the parents of the girl; the internet maggots who creep out from time to time to try and get into the world that they are still alive,” he lamented.
Soyinka added that the social media concocted another lie that he refused to attend his son’s wedding in the first place and that he had to be persuaded to do so, a report he found very offensive.
In his words: “They go further to say that Wole Soyinka refused to attend the wedding in the first place, that I had to be persuaded. I approved the wedding. I don’t understand this, nobody, not even my late parents would try to stop me from marrying anybody whom I wanted; so it is inconceivable that I will say to any of my children that I disapproved the person you want to marry, it is not possible, go and talk to any of them. So what right has anybody to sit down and said that I refused to attend and that I had to be persuaded eventually?
“You see, is this linked to the alleged disparity between the two? no, that is not at all, there is a tribal thing involved. There are people who think they can use me to start a tribal war in this country. This is not the first time; a lecture which I delivered in Harvard two years ago was deliberately misreported, concocted; this is not a question of misreading or mishearing, no, something I never said. I was supposed to have said something about the Igbo, something derogatory, this came up and this went on facebook and ofcourse an industry started immediately.
“Having failed in that one, I think they were disturbed by my son marrying an Igbo girl, this girl was born in America. They were so shocked. Why are they telling these stories, what have I done to them? Why put young people through such an emotional rigour.
“I want to say here that we are dealing with seriously dysfunctional people, not only dysfunctional people, but people from dysfunctional homes. I am saying to you, whatever you are, you facebook operators who think you are there to ruin people’s lives, you come from dysfunctional homes, you are to be pitied, but you are also to be fought because you are dangerous, you are very dangerous, you are danger to society, danger to humanity and danger to your own people.”