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Journalist honours Soyinka’s invite 52 years later





A Nigerian journalist has finally honoured an invitation to meet Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, after 52 years of waiting.

Oloye Lekan Alabi, a veteran journalist who has also worked as a press secretary for four state governors, met Prof Soyinka on Wednesday at his residence in Ogun state, Nigerian media reported.




Mr Alabi told journalists that he had been invited by the novelist and playwright in 1969.

He said he had been invited because of a letter he wrote to then President Yakubu Gowon criticising the government for imprisoning Prof Soyinka. He added that he had written another letter to the laureate, during his two years in prison, to show solidarity.

In appreciation, the professor had invited him soon after he was released from prison. He said while he initially kept the appointment, he was told the professor had been away.

“Today, 52 years after, it has pleased God that I honour the kind invitation extended to me in 1969 while I was a 19-year-old student of African Church Grammar School, Apata Ganga, Ibadan, by Prof (then Mr) Wole Soyinka,” the The Guardian newspaper quotes him as saying.




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