When Common Sense Trounces Academic Brilliance! Soyinka vs. Orji Uzor Kalu, By Chinedu Jerry

Prof Wole Soyinka

The author says Wole Soyinka’s statement on the Patience Jonathan was tactless.

I love Professor Wole Soyinka. I believe my lascivious/ amorous witty style of writing is a poor….very poor imitation of his, Yes he is my hero.

I also totally admire his readiness to bleed and indeed his bleeding for Nigeria and I want to believe I share same desire….even though yet to be proven.

His “The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny” is my mantra and it is in following this his quote that I do not keep quiet over his recent attack on the First Lady of Nigeria.

I have often wondered why Prof Soyinka, despite his clear interest in party/partisan politics has never been truly followed… he and Gani Fawehinmi and of course Femi Falana. I have asked myself if it is some kind of self-destruct button that the Nigerian voting populace has that makes us choose people of unproven integrity that we rather vote instead of these men whose brilliance is globally recognised and whose love for Nigeria is without question.

Yes I have lain on my bed pondering this many a time. Soyinka’s last press conference gave me the epiphany. Like Achimedes, I screamed EUREKA!!! And the answer is TACT. There are various definitions of these words. One dictionary defines it as “Acute sensitivity to what is proper and appropriate in dealing with others, including the ability to speak or act without offending.

Another says it is a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense. The Merriam-Webster dictionary even gives an example that is instructive “The peace talks required great tact on the part of both leaders”.

So when Soyinka holds a press conference and attacks another man’s wife…sorry THE PRESIDENT’S WIFE and asks her to “be a lady” implying the first lady is not a lady. And also not adducing any evidence to buttress such a viewpoint and instead blaming someone with no constitutional powers for actions of men over 18 years…men chosen by their people as leaders….and doing this in a press conference had me nonplussed.

Who refers to the First Lady as a “mere domestic appendage of power” in any country of this world? Do not they know the wife plays a key role in getting votes for the husband? Is Michelle Obama not revered globally? Has the Queen of England ever hugged any human being aside Michelle? Is her qualification for that embrace not because of Obama being president? IS SHE A DOMESTIC APPENDAGE OF POWER?? Who in this century still considers women DOMESTIC? Is the Prof not aware that women now earn even more than men in Nigeria as the beautiful brilliant ones are snapped up quickly by employers?

Are our most powerful ministers these past years not been women ala Dora Akunyili and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala? What men towers above these women? So why call her DOMESTIC. Is this not an antediluvian mindset? But this is Nigeria. The Nigerian woman despite being some of the most fertile both in womb and in the cerebrum in all the earth, still does not realize her potentials and her rights and that those rights begin with correcting mental attitudes of their males. They do not picket the National Assembly to have domestic violence laws passed. They do not know how to influence the National Assembly to make laws that guarantees no man can kick them out of a house after they have toiled with him to build it. They do not know they deserve half, even when like Soyinka desires, they were “domestic” and raised the kids and did not work. They do not know how to make laws that will stop a man’s son from coming from nowhere and inheriting the man’s house upon his passing thus rendering them HOMELESS and of course they do not know how to tackle the professor from calling a position they by right occupy as winds beneath presidential wings (First Lady mere Domestic appendage of power).

Now compare Orji Uzor Kalu’s comments. Bear in mind that like Bola Tinubu, Orji Uzor Kalu has no former university classmate that is alive who remembers him in class. They were both spiritual students.

Indeed Orji has not written books of global significance nor is he the first black African to win the Nobel Laureate Prize for Literature. Yet his comments on the Rivers imbroglio are miles and miles more useful than that of the genius Soyinka. While Soyinka chose only one woman to blame, while his vitriol was targeted at Patience Dame Jonathan, Orji Uzor Kalu went deep into the root cause of the imbroglio. He spoke to all parties concerned. He apportioned blame where it lay…and intelligently too. For instance, despite all the GEJ vs. Amaechi, he first said GEJ was not involved then in the body spoke to GEJ like he was involved. He massaged GEJ’s ego then pricked it. Then asked that GEJ forgives Amaechi for any wrongs he may have done.

He told Amaechi he was popular, then reminded him of the powers of the president as he himself experienced against OBJ. He reminded Amaechi that the minute he loses power, he is NOBODY. His words were words on marble.

Now juxtapose the words and actions of a world-renowned professor with that of the University certificate forger and you will find that the difference is the TACT. Orji Kalu’s words are as potent and poignant. He told Amaechi it was wrong for him to disobey the clear dictates of his party and contest for the NGF.

He asked him to form his own party if he wants to be recalcitrant. He told GEJ he was petty fighting with a governor and over what? He showed GEJ was distracting himself.

Now these are clear attacks but coated in honey. They are vinegar pills in vanilla capsules…and yet as healing.

Soyinka’s HA!!! The scenarios it could lead to are

1. Patience Jonathan insults him back with very terrible English like “it is not by seniorship and white biabia that person have sensing. My husband GEJ has make it to numba one under my umblera era era eh eh eh, under my umbrella.

2. GEJ gets angry and sends his wife packing and we now have first president to drive his wife and throw her load outside of Aso Rock.

3. Make Amaechi and his supporters feel justified and break more maces and skulls.

4. Bring a new dimension and party (Wole Soyinka) to the equation (as he basically has done).

5. Annoy Patience and GEJ and have them even more determined to see Amaechi out including the OBJ-like use of EFCC as enemy-hunters

6. Have Patience insult his much younger wife who he basically has DOMESTICATED as we do not see or read of her.

I can go on and on and you can attack me all you want for having an opinion and voicing it about such an icon. But not to derail by trying to attack my person, (who I be? Attack jor, I MUST TALK as my Oga Soyinka say make Man no Silent or he die) The real criticism of this write up is Wole Soyinka’s approach and Orji Uzor’s approach, which showed tact, intelligence, brilliance, common sense, experience etc.

The answer to that will show you why Orji Uzor Kalu will run for president in 2019 and be a major force while if Soyinka ran, he would be a sidekick like Gani Fawehinmi.

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