Prof Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, has finally reacted to the aircraft seat incident reported by billionaire politician, Patrick Tonye.
According to Tonye, the young man had refused to allow the literary icon to take his seat allotted to him on an aircraft, even when other passengers had begged him to.
The plane seat incident had caused quite a stir on social media, Nigerians debated the matter for days.
However, in a statement on Saturday, Soyinka wondered why the issue caused such a storm as he described it as nothing.
“Those who permit themselves to be persuaded, even for one second that I, Wole Soyinka, has wrongly identified a seat number like millions of travellers all the time, and all over the world, would then attempt to consolidate the error in any form, through act, word, or gesture, qualify to be the first beneficiaries of this vastly improved humanitarian policy,” he said.
“I don’t know how much airlines succeed in raising for their charity drives through those envelopes they distribute to passengers into which their captive donors are exhorted to deposit their loose change before disembarking. Such monies are then distributed to worthy causes all over the world, especially in the pursuit of health,” he said.
“What I am convinced of is that they would generate a hundred times more if they were more creative. For instance, they could impose a fine on passengers who take the wrong seat on boarding, even for a second. One can only rejoice in the thought of such benefits to humanity in its efforts to eradicate all kinds of diseases, especially malnutrition, and ensure the supply of nutrients that prevent the premature onset of brain impairment.”
Akwa Ibom Governor Constitutes Judicial Panel To Probe Police Brutality
Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom has set up a judicial panel of inquiry to probe cases of police brutality in the state.
This was announced in a statement signed by the secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem.
He stated that the decision was part of resolutions reached at an emergency of the State Executive Council meeting on Monday.
This is coming following days of #EndSARS protests across the country.
Members of the panel include; Justice Ifiok Ukana (Rtd) Chairman, Ms. Manti Umoh Representative of Civil Society Organizations, Mr. Harris Udoh, (a representative of the protesters, Barr. Bassey Essien CP(Rtd), Senior Retired Police Officer, Barr. Omen Bassey, youth representative, Comrade Aniedi Michael, National Association of Akwa Ibom State Students Worldwide President – Student Leader Tony Iji – National Human Rights Commission, and Mfon Edemekong Esq. Ministry of Justice ~ secretary.
#EndSARS: Show You Understand Youths’ Plight, Obasanjo Tells Buhari
Obasanjo made this remark when he visited Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, at his palace in Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Monday.
He described the #EndSARS protest as the product of an extensive agitation by the Nigerian youth.
He said the youths are clamouring for a better life and there are several ways the government can show it understands their plights by making things easier for them.
“More than 65 percent of our population is under within the ages of 18 and 30; they are not only struggling to acquire education, they are also aspiring for the best that life can offer them,” Obasanjo said.
“Some of them didn’t even get educated, while those who are educated are getting frustrated because of lack of opportunities. We must realize that the lid on the boiling steam would have to be removed.
“But, I believe that there are windows of opportunity which the government can explore to show that it cares about the people’s welfare, especially the youth, as the father of the country and particularly, as the father of the youth.
“Fortunately, the president has children and he knows how youths behave. I believe that the opportunities can still be taken to let the youth know that he, as a father, understands their plight and that his government understands their plight and he is ready to make life better for them.”
Tinubu Hails Protesters, Carpets Hoodlums, Pleads For Cessation
The APC National leader also commended Nigerian youths for the level of organisation that went into the protests, saying it showed a new level of consciousness that could strengthen Nigeria’s democracy.
He, however, warned the protesters against creating a platform that would lead to the destruction of Nigeria’s democratic process.
Tinubu pointed out that protesters must not abuse their right of demonstration by impeding the country’s democratic rights.
He, however, stated that the protesters must admit that President Muhammadu Buhari had “acted with commendable dispatch by not only scrapping SARS but also accepting the five-point demand that triggered the protests.”
He said it would only be fair for the youths to call off the protests and give the regime a chance to implement the reforms they had demanded.
Tinubu urged the youths to be careful not to fritter away the considerable gains they had made within a very short period with “lack of moderation and strategic thinking.”
He also condemned hoodlums who had begun to take advantage of the protests to perpetrate violence and disrupt civil life.
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