Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a former governor of Osun state, has fired back at Professor Wole Soyinka, describing him as an ignorant and mischievous person.
The rift between the two public figures is about the status of the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding in Oshogbo, the Osun state capital.
Speaking with The Punch, Lasisi Lagunju, Oyinlola’s media officer, said that the former governor would soon officially respond to the criticism. However, another aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, revealed that Oyinlola was surprised that Soyinka was fighting over a centre, whose creation he opposed in 2008.
“There is a sense in which one can excuse his outburst because it seems he does not understand the mechanism that established the institute.
“He is simply ignorant. He is talking as if the centre is just an Osun thing, whereas its status is that of a trust in which Osun state is a major stakeholder just as the Federal Republic of Nigeria and UNESCO are.
“That is why, on the board, each of these stakeholders has a representative. The Federal Ministry of Culture is representing the federal government. Osun is represented by the state’s ministry of culture. Prof. Peter Okebukola is on the board, representing the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta while the late Uli Beier family is also represented. So, how can an individual or a party claim ownership of such a centre?
“But we know that beyond ignorance, Soyinka is also being mischievous. Someone of his status should know the facts. He also ought to know that all he is doing is medicine after death and it ought to be a matter of shame because he opposed the establishment of the CIBU when we were struggling to get UNESCO approval,” he said.
Meanwhile, Soyinka has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to caution the former governor in the spirit of his anti-corruption campaign. Soyinka also accused Oyinlola of parading himself as the chairman of the centre’s board of trustees.