The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has described the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, as a rare breed and a precious gift not only to Nigeria but also the Black continent and humanity as a whole.
Aregbesola made the remark as mark of honour to Soyinka, who celebrates his 80th birthday on Sunday, 13th July, 2014.
In a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the Governor said Soyinka represents for the country and every black man a beacon of hope.
He described the Nobel Laureate as a poet-prophet, prodigious playwright, freedom fighter, political activist and creative enigma.
According to the governor, Soyinka has been fearless in his fight for a just society, democracy and return of military to the barracks.
He said: “Professor Oluwole Akinwande Soyinka is undoubtedly one of the icons of the African continent. He is a gift not only to Nigeria but also the whole world.
“A cerebral academic, prolific playwright, poet-prophet, essayist, conversationalist, political activist, human rights crusader all rolled into one.
“A lot of people paid the ultimate prize for the democracy we enjoy today but Professor Soyinka was lucky to come out of the bloody struggle alive.
“He believed in and fought for oneness of the Nigerian nation state and was jailed during the civil war.
“In the fight for the return of military to the barrack and the de-annulment of June 12 Presidential election won by the late MKO Abiola, he was almost assassinated had he not had a rapid dialogue with his legs (apology to him).
“As he celebrate his four scores of existence on earth, we could not but wish him many more prosperous years and may the ink in his pen never run dry”.