5th November, 2014
Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has slammed the Goodluck Support Network, one of the groups championing the re-election bid of Nigeria’s President Jonathan, for fabricating a statement and crediting it to him.
The statement purportedly written by Soyinka has as its title: ‘The North Must Stop Bombing Nigeria And Blaming Jonathan’. The angry professor described the statement as a desperate tactics by the group to change the impression Nigerians have of President Jonathan by using prominent people in the society.
“This is an unscrupulous, disgusting and cowardly fabrication. The Goodluck Support Network must be truly desperate to resort to such despicable tactics,” Soyinka said.
The statement claimed that Professor Soyinka blamed the failure of government’s inability to curtail insurgency on the people of northern Nigeria and their refusal to co-operate with the government.
In his reaction titled: ‘A Challenge To The Press’, Soyinka further stated that: “I wish to call the attention of the press to the following online publication: http://www.gsmnetwork.com.ng/the-north-must-stop-bombing-nigeria-blaming-jonathan-prof-wole-soyinka/#respond.
“I formally denounce this malevolent falsehood. I must go further, however, and challenge the Nigerian press to rise to the fullness of their responsibility to the public. The time is long overdue for proactive steps to terminate the corruption of the profession by unprincipled interlopers. This particular publication surely sets a
record for sheer brazenness and undermines the credibility of media communication with the public it professes to serve. The tendency is dangerous to one and all, including the press itself, where any neophyte can easily master the skill of cloning utter falsehood into media pages under the authentic masthead of online press.
“It is not sufficient to shrug one’s shoulders in resignation, observing that errand boys can only be expected to adopt the methods of their paymasters. There is desperate need for sanitation in the information arena before our entire public space is overwhelmed by nauseous concoctions, unscrupulous and unprincipled, throwing the public into confusion until it is no longer possible for many to disentangle fact from fiction.”
According to him, “the press must confront this challenge and descend on malefactors with unrelenting viigour. Technology is supposed to serve humanity, enhance creativity, and reinforce the moralities that uphold civilized existence, not subvert them.”