Here’s Why Wole Soyinka Attacked Peter Obi By Richard Chilee
Of Pa Soyinka, Obidients and Greek gifts.
Yesterday, a friend called me and asked my opinion about Soyinka’s outburst toward the Obidients. I laughed. I laughed because he knows I have a favourite spot for Pa Soyinka. In fact, when he called, he referred to Pa Soyinka as “Your man.” I guess this admiration came from our years of eating books written by Pa Soyinka, Achebe and other African writers. Then, we would argue who was the best. He always chose Pa Achebe because of his simplicity of words. Pa Soyinka was my man. His knack for using high-sounding words made him my favourite.
While I still hold Pa Soyinka in high regard, I am disappointed with his recent tirades towards the Obidients. His attacks on the Obedient movement are uncalled for. If anything, he should be calling out the APC and speaking against all they have done during the elections. And all they are doing after the elections.
But I understand why he wouldn’t speak against the APC, and specifically, his friend – Tinubu. It is hard to speak against someone who, in Pa Soyinka’s words, gave him shelter and “pots and pans” and other financial assistance when he needed them most.
Tinubu knew from the outset that he would need Pa Soyinka’s help someday. And today is that day. If you checked around Nigeria’s political environment, you would notice that almost all the important people, whose words have power, are directly or indirectly, indebted to Tinubu. Sometime in the past, he must have given them something they couldn’t resist – power, access or financial favours. I think Tinubu has a knack for sniffing out people’s weaknesses – human needs, and satisfying those weaknesses.
This is the reason many people, who you think should speak up against Tinubu, are silent. Or are subtly supporting him.
This brings me to the crux of this treatise: Young people should be wary of Greek gifts – gifts given or a favour done with a treacherous purpose. As a young person, I understand that you need all the support to succeed. However, while seeking these supports, be wary of those that will make you lose your soul in the future. Here, discernment is key.
Once, someone reached out to me to assist me with something I needed. While I was grateful for his support, my wife asked me a question I would never forget: what does he need in return? At that point, I paused. Since I couldn’t answer that question, I declined the support.
Be discerning of gifts. Some are designed to trap you in the future. If you must receive it, always ask the giver what they need in return. Nothing is given for free. Nothing.
If you know what Pa Soyinka stands for, or if you have read about him, you will understand why a lot of people are disappointed with his utterances. They are disappointed because if it were someone else, and not Tinubu, Pa Soyinka would have gone all out, guns blazing, against the person or the people. He has a passion for standing up against injustice, especially electoral injustice.
My friend said: Pa Soyinka would have stood with the Obidients if they were fighting against someone else. But since it is his friend, Tinubu, he has to sacrifice his brand for friendship to pay his debts.
Be careful of Greek gifts.
Written by Richard Chilee