Politics

Soyinka says he’s forgiven Gowon, reveals those he can’t forgive

Professor Wole Soyinka has said that he had since forgiven Nigeria’s former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon.

Gowon, while serving as Nigerian leader, had in 1967 arrested Soyinka and locked him up in confinement when the Nigerian Civil War started.

However, the Nobel laureate told Channels Television on Thursday that he held nothing against Gowon, and had forgiven him.

He said, “We (Gowon and I) communicate whenever possible, he came for my birthday in Abeokuta here. And when he started to apologise – he made a public apology – I said, There is no need for it. The war, for me, is over.”

Soyinka, however, noted that the “ones I find difficult to forgive are those who lied against me. I don’t like liars; I just cannot stand liars.”

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Speaking more on his relationship with Gowon, he recounted how the former Head of State even asked a former ambassador to locate “me so that anytime he was passing – I was in Europe and America then – so we could meet and talk.

“And I said, ‘any time’ but there is really nothing much to talk about.”

The playwright said that when he and Gowon later met at a conference, they talked about the Nigerian Civil War.

He said, “We hit it on very well and we joked. The ice was broken and since then, we have been friends.”

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