A moral call to amoral conscripts, By Wole Soyinka

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    “While awaiting a decision from my lawyers whether or not to dignify the current sponsors of this mouldy tract with legal action, I wish to state in advance that I voluntarily waive all protection under the statute of limitations, and insist that the laws that govern fraudulent academic claims be invoked and applied to these allegations to the uttermost limit. I also declare, in advance that, if found culpable, I shall strip myself of any titles and honours I may have garnered in my entire career, from the most obscure to the most coveted.”

     

    A document of unmatchable scurrility, last encountered during General Sani Abacha’s global campaign of calumny against opponents of his despotic, infernally venal and homicidal reign, is back in circulation. Duly modified to suit a debased internet culture, it is making its grimy rounds ironically under the auspices of a democratic political party, supposedly dedicated to an ethos of freedom of opinion and expression. The contents of that script are attributed, as before, to the scholastic industry of a Bristol schoolteacher.

    While awaiting a decision from my lawyers whether or not to dignify the current sponsors of this mouldy tract with legal action, I wish to state in advance that I voluntarily waive all protection under the statute of limitations, and insist that the laws that govern fraudulent academic claims be invoked and applied to these allegations to the uttermost limit. I also declare, in advance that, if found culpable, I shall strip myself of any titles and honours I may have garnered in my entire career, from the most obscure to the most coveted.

    In return, I expect the purveyors of this sordid material to submit all evidence, however minuscule, to the nation’s investigative agencies – Directorates of Prosecutions, EFCC, ICPC, plus affected institutions and others – within the next thirty days. Failing this elementary service in public interest within the stated time, and/or If such allegations are yet again proven baseless, thus indicating that their sponsors can boast of neither honours to their careers nor honour to their births and origins, then, as a token of moral recompense, they should undertake to jump off the bridge of the symbolic River Niger, provided with life jackets, to ensure a life of remorse after this ritual purgation, but chained to one another in a commendable unity of purpose.

    This is being copied to the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria, Pan-African Writers Association, Accra, Nigeran Association of Authors, the Nobel Foundation, Stockholm, the University of Leeds, the alleged Bristol Primary Source and his school, and the infested media.

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    Wole SOYINKA writes from ARI, KEMTA Housing Estate, Abeokuta, Ogun State.


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