Soyinka & Trump’s illegitimate kids By Louis Odion, FNGE

Wole Soyinka….A misunderstood Sage?

This must be a depressing hour
indeed for the man who “fashioned the drama of existence” and first black Nobel
prizewinner in Literature, Professor Wole Soyinka. A comment uttered in
what could only be a protest against the willful trampling on the dignity of
the African immigrants and other “underdogs” has, alas, been twisted
out of its moral joint and now forms the singsong of some idle parrots, the horde
of little minds, barricading the social media.
Ahead of the now historic November 8
US polls, Kongi told a gathering of students in America that in the event that that loose-cannon Donald Trump won
he would not wait to be reminded before ripping his Green Card and evacuating
the acclaimed God’s own country, his present station.

President Donald Trump….What will Wole Soyinka do with his Green Card under him?
Asked again by The Interview (Nigeria’s
wave-making monthly magazine) amid the widespread shockwave that trailed the
news of the Republican candidate’s victory, the literary giant neither quibbled
nor wavered.
But that did not seem to impress the
cyber stalkers who, akin to the typical lynch mob lurking in Nigeria’s urban
centre forever itching for a chance to festoon someone with a burning tyre,
cannot wait to see the much esteemed octogenarian descend into the obscenity of
publicly shredding what many would lie, if not die, to possess.
Never one to shy away, particularly
when epistolary rats are foolish enough to disturb his tail, the literary lion
has since tackled his cyber assailants efficiently and effectively in a
vigorous rejoinder entitled “Red Card, Green Card – Notes Towards the
Management of Hysteria”.
Louis Odion (R) ….Very disturbed with the Kongi Situation on the internet
But this is beside the point. For
me, I think the real tragedy is two-fold. For “the hysterical” not to
see the Trump rise clearly as an urgent invitation to debate Nigeria’s place in
a putative new world order defined by a man that can technically be certified
as a mad man and, instead, be more obsessed with the banality of watching
Soyinka physically tear his Green Card is very, very alarming indeed.
Second is the possibility at all
that a generation of Nigerian Pharisees now exist and are so blissfully
ignorant of the history of their own very fatherland to, even for a drunken
moment, ever doubt Soyinka’s words once the issue borders on the defense of
human dignity.
So, as we can now see, it is not
only America whose moral capital seems on the decline on account of Trump’s
thunderous disavowal of all the lofty values the rest of the world had
associated with her in the last half a century; same ethical atrophy is clearly
discernible in contemporary Nigeria with the rise of youths with neither a
sense of history nor a social conscience, but more conversant with even the
minutest details of, say, the soccer celebrities of European soccer leagues.

General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida….Siyinka refused to take his CFR honor over June 12 annulment

If they had bothered to read and
understand their nation’s history, they would not have easily forgotten that
Soyinka had in the 90s cast away the coveted national honour CFR medal earlier
bestowed on him in 1986 by General Ibrahim Babangida in protest of the June 12
annulment and the subsequent clampdown on dissent. He later risked death in
leading a global campaign against Abacha despotism – was actually sentenced to
death in absentia – until democracy was restored in Nigeria in 1999.
General Sani Abachi….Gave death sentence to Wole Soyinka

So, could anyone have forgotten so
quickly the legend of “the mystery gun-man” who stormed a public
radio station in 1965 and forced the presenter to play a pre-recorded statement
censoring the ruling party over perceived repression of the opposition? Again,
when it was most dangerous, someone visited the Biafran enclave from the campus
of University of Ibadan with a view to persuading the secessionists to return
to the peace process.
For this, he was clamped into
solitary confinement by the Gowon regime for more than two years. The title of
his prison memoirs “The Man Died” was inspired by revolutionary
George Magaski who in his own “Letter To Compatriots” memorably
declared, “The man dies in him who keeps silence in the face of tyranny.”
So, to the cowards who today
luxuriate in the anonymity of the cyber space, against the aforementioned
heritage of uncommon sacrifice in pursuit and defense of noble values and
honour, how much weight does a mere American Green Card carry?
Today, these spoilt brats sired in
philistinism, immersed in cheap intoxicants of ignorance, seem least troubled
by the farrago of nasty things Trump said about vulnerable African immigrants,
especially Nigerians.
But all decent people like Soyinka,
who treasure their own dignity as members of the human race, should be
appalled. Racial integration thought irreversibly cemented in US on account of
the Obama ascendancy eight years ago is what is invariably called to question
by Trump’s tantrums.

Barrack Obama….Donald Trump might destroy his legacy

Kongi would then seem to find it
exceedingly hard continuing to inhabit a space, however alluring, where a
bare-faced racist holds court. Ordinarily, given his world celebrity status,
Soyinka would not have needed to beg or lie to get visa into America. His offer
to rip his Green Card once the US falls under Trump’s shadow should, therefore,
be properly seen as a symbolic gesture of protest on behalf of his nameless
compatriots among other vulnerable categories about to be meted undeserved
Now, as the rest of the world braces
for an uncertain future, it is most logical that we first attempt to locate the
trigger to the present meltdown. Prophesy two decades ago by Samuel Huntington
in his seminal book, The Clash of Civilizations, on the perils of globalisation
is coming to past with chilling accuracy.
Obsession, as he put it, of
triumphalist west upon the collapse of the old Soviet Union and the
socialist/communist tradition in China and elsewhere to export and implant its
cultures and values around the universe with little or no regard for local
sensibilities in other civilizations meant the battlefield would inevitably
shift from old geographical borders to the temples of faiths and the shrines of
ethnic nationalism.
Adolf Hitler….First Called for Racial Segregation in the 1930s
As a corollary to Brexit which shook
Europe four months ago, Trump’s triumph was undoubtedly fueled by the rising
tide of ethnic nationalism. The hell-raising far-right rabble are also already
out in Hungary, Poland, France and Germany, baying for blood. The aborigines of
affluent western nations are simply no longer willing to accept massive
immigration into their countries as part of the price for globalization. Hence,
the new battle cry – “Take back our country!”
But the great paradox is that it is
all a self-inflicted pain. There is no way the immigration flood largely from Syria
recorded at the borders of recognizable western nations in the past two years
can be isolated from the miscalculations a decade and a half earlier by the
allied powers with the frenzy of “regime change” after September 11
in 2001. For instance, rogue Saddam Hussein was hurriedly uprooted from Iraq in
2003 in pursuit of a phantom weapon of mass destruction (WMD) without a
coherent contingency plan to manage the aftermath in the highly combustible
Middle East.
Eight years later, the social media,
a powerful tool brought by globalization, helped stoke the fire of the Arab
Spring which paved the way for eccentric Moammar Ghaddafi, but a stabilizing
influential North Africa and parts of the Arab world, to be bludgeoned to death
on the street of Tripoli.
In neighboring Syria, Bashir Assad
has managed to survive the Arab Spring for six years, but at a horrific human
Now, the lethal arsenal Ghaddafi
left behind have been harvested by Hussein’s demobilized fighters who formed
the core of ISIS, which straddles a chunk of Iraq and swath of Syria.
What then seems utterly insufferable
to Soyinka and other men and women of conscience around the world today is the
unwillingness of the resurgent nativists as privileged members of the western
establishment to accept that intolerance from the outset of others’ values and
faiths is at the root of the moral crisis that has engulfed the world community
in the past decade, of which Donald Trump is the latest mutation.


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