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Soyinka v Obasanjo

Soyinka v Obasanjo: A man of letters and an “economic illiterate”

Most Nigerians know that Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka and Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president, don’t see eye to eye.

Obasanjo once said of Soyinka: “He is surely a better wine connoisseur and a more successful aparo (guinea-fowl) hunter than a political critic.”

Soyinka responded in kind last night during a programme: ‘An evening with Wole Soyinka’, organised by Globacom.
“I can spend the whole night proving that he is a liar. Obasanjo was once described by an economist, the late Prof Ojetunji Aboyade, as an economic illiterate. They nearly went to blows that night. It was Prof Mabogunje who separated them.”

Soyinka’s comments echo what a renowned professor of economics revealed to us several months ago. The professor was appointed by then president Obasanjo to an economic policy team to advise the president. The economist stayed up several nights drafting an economic policy paper that he presented to the president. He said Obasanjo just tore the paper up in the presence of attendees at their meeting and never bothered to read it.

Incidentally, Obasanjo brought together another group of so-called experts to prepare a “strategic development plan” which he handed over to then president-elect Muhammadu Buhari in May this year.

We are not sure whether the document met the same fate in Buhahari’s hands as the policy paper that Obasanjo tore to shreds.

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