HomeNewsNobel Laureate Soyinka Dares Critics to Prove Fake Degree Claims News

Nobel Laureate Soyinka Dares Critics to Prove Fake Degree Claims News

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Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka has challenged those who accuse him of having fake academic credentials to provide evidence or face the consequences. He said he would strip himself of any titles and honors he had received in his career if they could prove their allegations.

Soyinka, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986, issued a statement on Friday in response to an online publication that disputed his claim of having a first-class degree in English literature from Leeds University. The publication cited a 1996 article by Prof. James Gibbs, a scholar who had studied Soyinka’s work and interviewed him, as the source of the revelation.

Soyinka dismissed the publication as a “document of unmatchable scurrility” that was “last encountered during General Sani Abacha’s global campaign of calumny against opponents of his despotic, infernally venal and homicidal reign”. He said he was waiting for his lawyers to decide whether to sue the sponsors of the “mouldy tract”.

He also said he would waive his protection under the statute of limitations and insisted that the laws governing fraudulent academic claims be applied to the allegations. He gave his accusers 30 days to submit any evidence they had to the nation’s investigative agencies, such as the EFCC, ICPC and the Directorate of Prosecutions.

He added that if they failed to do so, or if their allegations were proven baseless, they should “undertake to jump off the bridge of the symbolic River Niger” as a token of moral recompense. He said they lacked honour and integrity for spreading such lies.

Soyinka is widely regarded as one of Africa’s most influential writers and intellectuals. He has been a professor of creative writing at various universities in the US and Nigeria, and has served as a scholar-in-residence at New York University and Loyola Marymount University. He has also been a vocal critic of political corruption and human rights abuses in Nigeria and other African countries.

Soyinka’s statement has drawn support from many Nigerians who admire his achievements and contributions to literature and society. They have praised him for standing up to his detractors and defending his reputation. They have also expressed hope that the truth will prevail and that justice will be done.

Source: Punch

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