An angry Wole Soyinka, Wednesday, lashed out at news outlets which credited to him with a disparaging statement against the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria.
In a terse statement, Mr. Soyinka attributed the report to the handiwork of “cowards” who fasten their “imbecilic pronouncements” on others.
“I have just read a statement attributed to me on something called The Cable, a news outlet, evidently one of the Internet infestations,” said Mr. Soyinka, a professor of Comparative Literature.
“My lecture at the Hutchins Centre, Harvard University, was video recorded. Anyone who believes what I am alleged to have said must be a moron – repeat, a moron.
“It is demeaning, sickening and boring to have to deal with these cowards who cannot fight their own battles but must fasten their imbecilic pronouncements on others.
Several online news media (not PREMIUM TIMES) had reported Tuesday that Mr. Soyinka had described the Igbos as a “greedy” group.
“The Igbos are probably the only group of Nigerians that you can predict with great accuracy whom they will vote for in an election, because they tend to put their votes where their stomachs take them; suffering as it were, from incurable money-mindedness, as they would stop at nothing in their quest for personal financial gain,” Mr. Soyinka was quoted as saying.
The Nobel Laureate had delivered a lecture on April 29th titled, ‘Predicting Nigeria? Electoral Ironies’ at the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs in the U.S.
The alleged comment ignited a scathing backlash against Mr. Soyinka on social media as critics likened the statement to the anti-Igbo speech of Rilwanu Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos.
But Mr. Soyinka denied making such a statement.
“Only the mentally retarded will credit this comment attributed to me regarding the Ndigbo voting pattern in the last elections,” he said.
“I strongly suspect the author of this despicable concoction, and may make a further statement, once the source is verified.”
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