Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, yesterday, passed a vote of confidence in the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s war against corruption even as he observed that “the fight is going to be a hard one”.
Soyinka made these views known when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, paid him a courtesy visit in his office at Freedom Park, Lagos Island.
According to the Nobel Laureate, the practice of abandoning the fight against corruption half way, “will not happen this time”.
Soyinka went on: “We have never had a situation where we were faced not just by emergency but critical emergency with our children being kidnapped under our noses and we were helpless, soldiers were being sent to the war front to defend our essence and we were not backing them up.
“The fight against corruption in Nigeria is going to be a hard one. There is no question whatsoever that we are not where we were before this administration entered. But we all have to be very careful and I have used this expression again and again that corruption fights back and the ardent fighters are those who are already within the cesspool of corruption and you can see that in the recent episode which I am not going to talk about, I am going to await a certain letter, which I am told to expect and I hope that the letter writer brings it to my Egba hideout and I will educate him.
“Let’s watch the fight against corruption. It is on two levels: one directly against corruption and counter attacks which we are. There is no retreat no matter the libel or libelous garbage from any part of this country”.
The literary giant also used the opportunity to re-visit the controversy over the N82 million allegedly spent by the immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Hon. Rotimi Amechi, to host him to a birthday dinner.
The present Rivers Government last week condemned Mr. Amaechi for spending the money to host Soyinka, vowing to ask the renowned playwright to make a refund if it finds out he received any cash donation from the amount.
The Nobel Laureate described the Rivers Government’s allegation as “insulting, disrespectful and highest desperation” for anyone to try to rubbish his image on the pages of newspapers.
On the repositioning of the National Theatre, Soyinka said, from the economic point of view, the solution might be found in a public private partnership (PPP) initiative.
Earlier, the Minister said he was in Soyinka’s office to tap from his fountain of knowledge about the nation’s arts and culture.
Mohammed said, “We have seen the huge potentials of our artists and there is need to give them enabling environment to practice their profession, to express themselves”.