Write More Fiction, Steer Clear of Science, Presidency Replies Soyinka

Garba Shehu

By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

The presidency Wednesday night called the bluff of Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, asking Nigerians to ignore his fictional postulations and embrace science.

The presidential attack on Soyinka was provoked by the latter’s criticism of the current lockdown of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States by President Muhammadu Buhari to curb further spread of COVID-19.

Soyinka had questioned the rationale behind the lockdown, moreso that the country was not in a state of war emergency.

But presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, believed that Soyinka lacked the professional competence to comment on a matter like the handling of the scourge of COVID-19.

According to him, such matter requires scientific interventions and not a mere fiction which he believes the nobel laureate is only known for.

He therefore counselled Soyinka to consider writing a fiction on the pandemic when it is finally over, but admonished Nigerians to trust scientists and not authors of fiction like Soyinka.

“Perhaps Wole Soyinka may write a play on the coronavirus pandemic, after this emergency is over. In the meantime, we ask the people of Nigeria to trust the words of our doctors and scientists – and not fiction writers – at this time of national crisis,’’ Shehu said.

Furthermore, Shehu said Soyinka was not a professor of medical sciences and all he knows is writing literary books and hence, his opinions on the matter lack scientific backing.

Shehu argued that it’s a common belief that an effective way of containing the scourge across the globe is lockdown as he proceeded to cite opinions of medical scientists to buttress his submission, countering Soyinka’s view that the situation is not war emergency.