Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka has explained that there is no bad blood between him and Nigeria’s former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, and believes there is nothing to forgive him about.
“We 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 playwright who was detained by the Gowon government for two years, in the wake of the Nigerian Civil War, told Channels Television.
“The war, for me, is over.’ 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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Soyinka, 86, explained that General Gowon had on various occasions made efforts to meet him so they could talk.
“He even asked the former ambassador to locate me so that anytime he was passing – I was in Europe and America then – so we could meet and talk,” the essayist who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986 added. “And I said, ‘any time’ but there is really nothing much to talk about.”
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According to him, they later met at a conference with Soyinka adding that during the event, they talked about the Nigerian Civil War.
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“We hit it on very well and we joked,” he said. “The ice was broken and since then, we have been friends.”
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The Gowon government had on August 1967 arrested Soyinka and put him in solitary confinement, just as the Civil War started.
Armed robbers have attacked a branch of an old generation bank – Union Bank – in Ode-Irele town in Ondo State.
The bank was said to have come under attack by the armed men numbering about 30 on Thursday in Irele Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
The Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Tee Leo-Ikoro, confirmed the attack to Channels Television.
He explained that before the robbers proceeded to the bank, they attacked a police station in the community.
READ ALSO: Bandits Kill Ondo Traditional Ruler, Olufon Of Ifon
In the process, the robbers blew the armoury of the police facility open with an explosive device and made away with some riffles.
Ikoro revealed that upon arriving at the bank, the robbers destroyed the security doors of the financial facility with an explosive device to gain access.
According to him, they carted away an undisclosed amount of cash from the bank and some persons were shut.
The command’s spokesman insisted that no fatality was recorded in the attack.
He, however, stated that a team of men highly skilled personnel of the command has been deployed after the fleeing armed robbers to apprehend them and bring them to justice.
Bandits have shot a prominent traditional ruler in Ondo State, Oba Israel Adeusi who was the Olufon of Ifon.
Ifon is located in Ose Local Government Area (LGA) of the state in south-west Nigeria.
Oba Adeusi was said to be returning to his town from Akure, the Ondo State capital where he went for a meeting with other frontline traditional rulers in the state.
A source confirmed to Channels Television that the incident occurred on Thursday, adding that the monarch was shot at Elegbeka community along the Ifon-Benin Highway.
Another source told Channels Television that the monarch was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre in Owo, where he died as a result of gunshots he sustained during the attack.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Tee Leo-Ikoro, confirmed the incident to Channels Television.
He described the incident as sad and very unfortunate, saying the bandits also kidnapped two persons in the convoy after shooting the monarch.
Leo-Ikoro noted that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Bolaji Salami, has directed all police divisions in the area to swing into action.
He stated that the police personnel would work with other security agencies to apprehend the bandits and secure the release of the victims.
World Athletics on Thursday filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the clearance of Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser to compete, while US sprinter Christian Coleman appealed his two-year ban.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) disciplinary tribunal ruled in October that Naser had not committed an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) in relation to an alleged filing failure and missed tests.
In its appeal to the CAS, World Athletics requested that the AIU decision “be set aside and that it be replaced with a new decision in which Salwa Eid Naser is found to have committed an ADRV and sanctioned with a two-year period of ineligibility”.
World 400-metre champion Naser was initially charged with breaking whereabouts rules and provisionally suspended in June, but that was dismissed on a technicality.
Nigerian-born Naser, who improved by one second a season from 2016-19, stunned athletics when she powered to the third-fastest 400m in history to take the world title in Doha last year.
Her time of 48.14 seconds was only behind runs by East German Marita Koch and former Czech runner Jarmila Kratochvilova in the 1980s.
In a separate case, Coleman filed an appeal against World Athletics over a two-year ban handed down by the AIU in October for having “committed an ADRV in relation to an alleged filing failure and missed tests”.
Coleman requested that the AIU decision be “set aside and that the sanction be eliminated, or in the alternative, reduced”.
Coleman also struck gold in Doha, winning the men’s 100m title in a world-leading time for the season of 9.76 seconds.
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He was provisionally suspended for three ‘whereabouts failures’ in June.
World Athletics’ Disciplinary Tribunal upheld the charge and banned the 24-year-old American for two years, backdated to May 14, 2020.
Should the ban remain in place, Coleman would miss next year’s Olympic Games in Japan, where he would have been among the favourites to win 100m gold.
Coleman, who is also the 60m world record holder, only ran in the 4x100m relay heats in his first Olympic appearance in Rio de Janeiro four years ago. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) charged Coleman for missed tests in January and December 2019, as well as for a “filing failure” last April.
To prove an anti-doping violation, an athlete has to have committed three whereabouts failures within 12 months.
Coleman previously escaped suspension on a technicality ahead of last September’s World Championships.
The Federal Government on Thursday convened another meeting with members of the organised labour movement.
This comes after an attempt to resolve the impasse between the government and workers’ unions over the recent hike in the price of petrol and electricity tariff failed on Sunday.
In his opening remarks at Thursday’s meeting in Abuja, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said Sunday’s event was not a walkout but a recess.
He insisted that both parties – the government and the labour unions – were working for the betterment of the nation.
Ngige stressed that the issues at stake, which included the hike in electricity tariff and the price of petrol, do not only affect the citizens but also those on the government’s side.
He was hopeful that the meeting would produce the results that would be beneficial to both parties.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, who was also at the meeting, addressed the labour leaders.
He gave an assurance that the government would ensure that resolutions reached would be for the benefit of the Nigerian people.
Mustapha also thanked the labour leaders for their show of patriotism, stressing that what happened on Sunday was a recess and not a breakdown of discussions.
On his part, TUC President, Peter Esele, stressed the need for sincerity on the part of the government to enable the meeting to arrive at a logical conclusion.
He also appealed to the conveners of the meeting to allow the media stay till the end of the discussion for the purpose of transparency
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, was absent at the meeting, but he was represented by the General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Joe Ajaero.
Ajaero disagreed with the remarks of the labour minister and the SGF that the last meeting was a recess, insisting that it did not end peacefully.
He also insisted that the agenda for discussion should be presented for adoption before going forward.
After the representatives from both sides made their remarks, the meeting went into a technical session.
Others in attendance include the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo; the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouk.
The government has continued to engage the labour unions in discussions since October when the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) threatened to embark on a nationwide protest over the increased prices.
On their part, the NLC and TUC have consistently maintained that the government should reverse the prices and provide palliatives to cushion the immediate effects of the hike before it engages them in a dialogue.
A meeting to address the issues on Sunday was stalled after the organised labour movement staged a walkout to protest what they described as government’s breach of agreement.