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Dinner Probe: Soyinka calls Wike insecure, desperate



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Prof. Wole Soyinka has described Rivers government’s call for a probe of the N82-million dinner organized for his 80th birthday by ex-Gov. Rotimi Amaechi as an unprecedented call from an insecure incumbent of the government lodge.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Nobel laureate said he’d ignored the headlines in some newspapers because it is not his business probing into the catering and logistical implications of the many institutions and governments around the world giving him unsolicited recognition.

“Since then, however, I have learnt of some unsavory statements by the insecure incumbent of the Rivers State Government Lodge. These included a loose invitation to anti-crime agencies to investigate the potential crime of being honoured through any occasion,” said the Nobel laureate.

Austin Tam-George, Rivers information commissioner, had earlier said Soyinka would have to refund whatever cash prize he got from the dinner if the state government probe to be initiated proved Amaechi gave him money.

“At present, we have presented these details to the police for investigation and prosecution. We shall also take up this matter as a financial crime against the people of Rivers State,” Tam-George said on a radio programme in Port Harcourt Wednesday.

Quoting from his recent publication, The Republic of Liars, Soyinka noted his belief that corruption usually fights back, and that those who are neck deep in the sewage of corruption will ensure they splatter sewage as much as they can.

Soyinka’s turn of phrase later took a derisive flavor as he welcomed the probe.

“I do, however, fully support the Wikeleaks call for multi-directional probes. I recommend further that he involve the services of INTERPOL to guarantee its extension to all international organisations and governments to whom I owe uncountable events of recognition – including birthday luncheons, dinners, cultural receptions and events of real, fictitious, or simply opportunistic flavoring – to which I have submitted myself,” he said

“EFCC and company – over to you. You all know where I live.”

Amaechi, now transport minister, has responded to the claim. In a statement issued by his media office on Wednesday, he warned Wike “and the coterie of court-jesters and attention-seekers” in his administration to desist from peddling falsehood.”

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