Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, has spoken about the controversy that arose over his threat to destroy his American Green Card following the election of Mr. Trump, he said, “I’m going to hold a private wake on inauguration day not to mourn the decision of Americans in the choice of president but to mourn the death of Nigeria common sense”.
The private wake will have nothing to do with U.S. politics but would instead be to the death of common sense among Nigerians. he said.
Soyinka, on Monday in Lagos vowed to hold a private funeral on January 20, the day the United States President-elect, Donald Trump, will be sworn in.
Mr. Soyinka, who told the French news agency, AFP, in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday that he had destroyed the card, said he was shocked that people were asking him to present video evidence showing him destroying the card.
He said the commentaries generated, especially on social media, by his threat to destroy his Green Card may force him to “Wolexit 2”.
“Wolexit” is a term coined by the literary luminary after the “Brexit” referendum in the United Kingdom. Mr Soyinka had earlier used the term to describe his decision to quit the U.S.
He, however, said he has not decided the nature the “Wolexit 2” may take as it could either be internal (which would see him withdrawing to his Abeokuta sanctuary, Ijegba), external, or mixed.
Describing the whole controversy as a “theatre of the absurd,” Mr. Soyinka said he was puzzled that it was something even worth the fuss it generated.
“I hope to leave here today with a little knowledge. I’m puzzled and I don’t know what the fuss is all about,” he said.
“Why do you wail more than the bereaved? I’m addressing these illiterates who feel they want to make themselves heard.”
He said destroying his Green Card was not the first time he had undertaken such gesture to express his reservation over certain issues.
Mr. Soyinka narrated how he destroyed his national medal during a protest at the Race Course (also known as Tafawa Balewa Square) in Lagos during a protest he undertook with late Tai Solarin.
“I took out my national honour medal and I stamped on it. I could have done something else but I would be accused of indecent exposure,” he said.
“Trump is not really my problem. What really matters is the rhetoric that got him there especially against Nigerians.
“People react in their own ways and I don’t go fighting them for it. Expression is not only by words but it (is) also be actions. When I take such actions, I don’t want people on behalf of whom we took these actions to express themselves in vulgar manner.
He particularly came hard of Nigerians making commentaries about his threat to destroy his Green Card on social media, describing them as “slugs”, “millipedes”, “imbeciles”, “Barbarians, and “blabbermouths”.
“Barbarians are taking the opportunity of the anonymity of the internet to take over the country
“What is the business of any stupid Nigerian to open his or her mouth to challenge my right? Did you get the Green Card for me? The arrogance of Nigerians is overwhelming. Where does this arrogance come from? What right do they have to tell me that I have no right to take a decision in a particular way? What right do they have? Who are you giving orders? I didn’t take orders from Sani Abacha, what right do they have to give me order?”
I shall move my residency out of Nigeria
Mr Soyinka subsequently said he has decided to move the Soyinka foundation residency out of Nigeria as a response to the “unwarranted” commentaries generated by the Green Card issue.
“I’m embarrassed that I’m occupying the same nation space with these imbeciles. You have to deal with power and have to deal with those who have to deal with power. Nigerians should realise how ridiculous they make themselves. The Nigerian personal is gaining notoriety all over the world. That is why Trump latched on the existing narrative.
“You want to see evidence? I will put it on Ogun shrine because I live on Ogun principles.
“Something has to give. There will be certain actions I might take or refuse to take as a result of this. There has to be a significant event on my side in response to the obscene and unwarranted attacks.
“I’m going to move the residency of my foundation out of the country. I have already started it. It is my property. I am moving my foundation out of Nigeria,” he said.A