■ Let’s give him benefit of doubt – Kalu
By WILLY EYA
Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has refuted a statement on The Cable, where he was quoted to have given a damning verdict on the Igbo at a lecture he delivered at the Hutchins Centre, Havard University, U.S.A.
He said it was “demeaning, sickening and boring” to have to deal with those he described as cowards, who cannot fight their own battles but must fasten their pronouncements on others.
His words: “I have just read a statement attributed to me on something called The Cable, a news outlet, evidently one of the Internet infestations. 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.
“Only the mentally retarded will credit this comment attributed to me regarding the Ndigbo voting pattern in the last elections. I strongly suspect the author of this despicable concoction, and may make a further statement, once the source is verified.”
Meanwhile, former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has said that since Soyinka denied making the statement, he should be given the benefit of the doubt.
“Let us believe Prof. Wole Soyinka’s rebuttal of the earlier statements credited to him about the Igbo nation, unless there is incontrovertible proof indicating otherwise. But the Nobel Laureate is a man of honour. He will not say one thing and turn round to deny it. “I believe the statement he has issued. Let us allow sleeping dogs to lie,” Kalu said.
In the Cable story on the pattern of voting by Igbo in the recent election, the Nobel laureate was quoted to have said: “Igbo remained unrepentant and resolute towards their strategic objective of secession at worst or a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction at best,” adding: “The climax of MASSOB’s war against the Nigerian state was the call for sit-ins and civil disobedience that shut down markets and public services, as Igbo stayed at home in a symbolic gesture to assert Biafran independence. The call was honoured by governors in the two principal Igbo states, though without fanfare.”
He was also quoted to have said that the Igbo have become predictable “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.”