N82 Million Dinner Bill: When Corruption Fights Back – Reply To Soyinka...

N82 Million Dinner Bill: When Corruption Fights Back – Reply To Soyinka (PHOTOS)

Wole Soyinka Rotimi Amaechi Rivers State APC Nigeria Corruption White Paper
Rivers State Governor, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and Noble Laureate, Wole Soyinka pictured at the Rivers State Education Summit held on Monday, 25th March, 2013

Most of us have read the response of the respected Prof. Wole Soyinka on the controversies surrounding a dinner hosted in his honour by the Amaechi led government.

Many of us believe the respected Prof didn’t quite strike at the issue of corruption that encapsulates the controversial dinner in his honour, which is that a whooping N82 million, about $500,000.00 was blown in 3 hours in his honour by a State that owed both pensioners and civil servants at the time. This remains the fundamental issue.

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The Rivers State Government has no bone to pick with the person of Prof. Wole Soyinka as he inferred. The call to probity and accountability is not an attack on Prof. Wole Soyinka. His response has however thrown up certain issues, which is why one is compelled to ask:

1. Does the respected Prof have no position or opinion on the fact that he was hosted by borrowed funds at a time the State was starving?

2. Is a starving State justified to borrow to host him, or anyone for that matter, and for that whooping sum?

3. How does a call to probity and accountability amount to Corruption fighting back as he alleged?

4. Since he doesn’t deny being hosted by the former Governor of Rivers State, and having learnt that it was with borrowed funds for a starving State, does he recommend such practice to other governments?

These questions have become imperative given Prof. Wole Soyinka’s seeming prejudiced response and the need for clarifications against the backdrop of his global reputation for equity and justice.

Lest we forget, this is not a fight against Prof. Soyinka. It is a fight against corruption and we cannot afford to join party with corruption as it fights back. Buhari has said, if we don’t kill corruption, it will kill Nigeria. That is a clarion call.

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Oraye St. Franklyn is a barrister-at-law. He is senior special assistant to Governor Nyesom Wike on Social Media. He is a strategic communicator and good governance advocate, writes from Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He tweets from @RealOraye. He is also on Facebook.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.


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