Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday denied throwing his weight behind the presidential ambition of a former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, describing those pushing the narrative as “illiterate interlopers.”
A viral online quote had claimed that the renowned playwright vowed to campaign for Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the run-up to the 2023 general elections.
Purportedly describing the politician as his friend, the fake statement had quoted Soyinka as saying that although he had never involved himself in politics, he was ready to pull his weight to ensure that his, “long time friend in the 1993 NADECO struggle” becomes the next Nigerian leader.”
But Soyinka’s denied the statement credited to him after a similar pushback by the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who was wrongly credited with a fraudulent statement endorsing Tinubu.
Tinubu informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his intention to vie for the Presidency in 202, on Monday, January 10.
However, Soyinka a statement said the viral social media endorsement was fake news, stressing that the originators were public interlopers.
Soyinka added that the thought of 2023 had not even crossed his mind, noting that those who hacked his email to announce his (Soyinka’s) death, were capable of doing anything.
According to the Nobel laureate, the badly written piece, smacked of the same footprints of the person who carried out the last, advising whoever was behind it to find something worthwhile.
“Here we go again. The same boring illiterate public interlopers who lack the courage of their conviction and must steal the identities of their betters.
One can only hope that the public has learnt to identify fake news and join in the urgent task of exposing and disgracing these despicable touts.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I have not even thought of 2023 much less inserted candidates into coveted positions. The signature of this latest slowpoke is familiar – he or she does not even know the difference between ‘Laureate and Laurel,” Soyinka said.
According to him, the viral message was an ancient forgery being recycled for the umpteenth time.
“Those who pass it round do themselves and their recipients a disservice. Find something worthwhile to occupy your time.
“In any case, we have no business with politics in the land of the dead and the most recent information I have on me is that I died some time last year.
“The email account of the year’s Nobel ‘Laurel’ was hacked by these same agents to publicise my demise, so who is this still politicking WS ‘Laurel?,” he queried.