By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has described the protests embarked upon by some indigenes of Ile Ife over the announcement of a non-native as the next vice chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) as “crazy.”
Soyinka, who is a former lecturer at the university, stated this during a lecture, titled, ‘The Politics of Black Intellection and Creativity,’ at the University of Pennsylvania, United States, which was the first of the newly-inaugurated distinguished lecture series in African Studies.
Reacting to a question by Professor Wale Adebanwi, Presidential Penn Compact Professor of Africana Studies, Department of Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Soyinka said he’s “shocked” over the incessant kidnappings, ritual killings and violence that have become the order of the day in Nigeria.
Asked to express his reaction to the agitations that the next vice chancellor of OAU must be an indigene of its host city, Soyinka faulted the protesters.
He said: “An Ife person wrote me and say, look at these people disgracing us. I told him to go there and disgrace them. You are an Ife person. You should be in the front line.
“The Ife people should say those people don’t belong to us, we don’t know where they came from. And they should be dealt with ruthlessly. Why should there be an Ife VC anywhere? I just don’t understand what they put in the water these days. It is crazy.”
Since the announcement of Prof Adebayo Bamire as the 12th substantive vice chancellor of OAU last Thursday, some Ife indigenes have been protesting.
The protesters argued that an Ife indigene should have been appointed.