25th June, 2019
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The young Nigerian who ordered Prof. Wole Soyinka out of his seat on a flight has not yet been identified. As it turned out the man who claimed to be the one was a mere prankster. He claimed to be engaging in a satirical joke.
The young man’s name is Tosin Odunfa.
His comment, which has gone viral was posted on the Instagram page of Daddy Freeze and on Twitter.
Odunfa has now said it was all a joke.
“The real #bobofine’s character was assassinated without trial. He needed a fall guy and I volunteered through #Satire and I created a #PlausibleScenario to drive home my point”.
Odunfa, who works for Ebony TV was forced to admit the lie after flags were raised over his claims that he has a “a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering” and teaches “Nano Electromagnetic Theory at the University of Mannittawiw”. Google checks by curious Nigerians quickly showed that there is no such university anywhere in the world.
Tonye Cole had narrated an incident on a flight in which a young Nigerian man ordered Soyinka out of his seat and that the professor had to quietly vacate the seat.
Many Nigerians had taken a swipe at the young man for not being respectful despite it was his seat Soyinka sat on.
Odunfa jumped into the raging controversy as he said to ‘play the fall guy’. He told a believable story: that he was on the Autism spectrum and needed the view from the window to keep him from getting sick on the plane, hence his insisting on taking the window seat.
“I am the young guy! Yes, the one in question with a baseball cap and t-shirt, I am unashamed to be at the prime of my youth, in fact, I blushed a little bit after reading your description of my chest and muscles. Is thank to strong discipline that I live a fit life and I am able to go to the gym o my tight schedule.
“Prof. didn’t mind getting up and in fact, he confided in me as we chatted later on the flight that he would have done the same and that he was more embarrassed by the undue attention. Prof and I actually have few things in common, we are both in academia, I have a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering and teach Nano Electromagnetic Theory at the University of Mannittawiw.
“He said to me that he thinks that Nigerian youths need to stand up more for themselves than we do and he spoke to me about the ideals they tried to promote when he co-founded a secret society in his youth. I have read up on him now and know for sure that Wole Soyinka is a great man but I sadly was not taught about him in school. We exchanged contact information and I will certainly stay in touch.
“Please, note that I am on the Autism spectrum and need the view from the window to keep me from getting sick on the plane, hence my insisting on taking the window seat. Finally, Brother Tonye, the words on your lap are very inspiring, “everything you want is on the other side of not giving up,” he explained.
Odunfa has now deleted the post and unapologetic, he justified the post:
“The story was meant to help drive home the point that Youth have to rise up to realize that there is a clear and present threat to their future by an ageing-patriarchal society that doesn’t know the damage it is doing to our future. Women are at risk too”.
*PMNEWS apologises to its readers for falling for the joke.