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N82 million dinner: Wole Soyinka’s reaction is disappointing – Rivers commissioner

By Jimitota Onoyume

RIVER State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dr Austin Tam-George, has described as disappointing and depressing Professor Wole Soyinka’s reaction to attempts to confirm from the Nobel Laureate if he shared in the N82 million allegedly used by former governor Chibuike Amaechi to host a dinner for him on his 80th birthday at Government House, Port Harcourt.

The Commissioner in a statement, yesterday, said he had expected Soyinka to condemn what he described as unconscionable misuse of public funds in his name since he had come to know that such outrageous amount was used to organize a dinner for him by a government that was owing civil servants salaries and pensioners. Continuing, Tam-George said Professor Soyinka,  from his response, had carried himself in the manner of one who “suffers from a god complex, someone who does no wrong “

The Commissioner alleged that Amaechi’s administration will go down in history as having a record of the highest number of abandoned projects in the state since its creation in 1967 inspite of the about three trillion naira it allegedly got. According to him, a physical tour of the Greater Port Harcourt city project of the Amaechi’s government which gulped over  hundred billion naira showed a “  putrid landscape of corruption, broken dreams and wasted resources. “

Will Soyinka condemn this pornography of waste and excess by Rotimi Amaechi?  That is the moral question”, he said and wondered how Professor Soyinka would be indifferent to such “atrocious legacy.” He further recalled that the American Noble Laureate Toni Morrison on her 80th birthday had a hearty laugh over coffee with friends at her home in Ohio, stressing that no tax payers fund was wasted to host a dinner for her by the state of Ohio

“Can Soyinka reasonably claim to be indifferent to the exemplary moral contrast provided by Toni Morrison?”he queried.



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