I'm embarrassed to share country with some "imbeciles and morons" - Soyinka threatens to exit Nigeria
Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has threatened to exit Nigeria, saying he is embarrassed to be in the same country as “imbeciles and morons”.
Soyinka said this on Monday in response to reactions of Nigerians to his threat to tear his green card, after Donald Trump emerged the US president-elect.
Speaking to reporters today at a media event held at Freedom Park on Lagos Island, Mr. Soyinka said: "I should not be exiting the United States but Nigeria because the people on behalf of whom one has struggled all one’s life can be so slavish in mentality as to start querying the right of their champion to free speech."
"I am embarrassed to occupy the same space as some imbeciles and morons," adding that the exit from Nigeria can be "internal" or "external".
He also threatened to move the residency of his foundation, the Wole Soyinka Foundation, out of Nigeria and dared anybody to criticize his decision.
"If the board agrees," he said, "I will move the residency of my foundation out of the country," he said.
He added that on the inauguration of the US president-elect, Donald Trump, he would hold a private funeral wake to mourn the death of common sense in Nigeria.
The Nobel laureate expressed his anger at many Nigerians who had taken to the social media to criticize his comment.
He said: "We worked to make sure the least important person in our society enjoys freedom of expression. When I decide to take this same action [use his freedom of speech], I don’t want people whom we have fought for to enjoy freedom of expression to start all kinds of vulgar and stupid commentaries.
"Barbarians have taken over this community using the anonymity, most of the time, of the Internet to sit somewhere and start writing rubbish, questioning the right of people like me to express ourselves."
"What is the business of any stupid Nigerian to open his or her mouth to challenge my right? Did you get the green card for me? The arrogance of some Nigerians is overwhelming, and I don’t interfere, so how dare you interfere with me?" he said.
He asked: “Why do Nigerians wail louder than the bereaved?”
He said, "I call my green card Jimmy Carter’s card because he got it for me and, as a matter of fact, I did not ask for it."