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Alake Of Egba Land Urged FG To Declare July 13 As Wole Soyinka Day

The Alake of Egba Land, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, has called on the Federal Government to declare 13th of July a national day dedicated to celebrating the contributions of Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, to humanity both nationally and globally.

Gbadebo also said that the Federal Government should honour Soyinka with the second highest national honour of Grand Commander of Order of Niger as the Nobel laureate marks his 90th birthday.

The traditional ruler said that Egba land has already decided that 13th of July, which is the birthday of the Nobel laureate, would henceforth be celebrated as Wole Soyinka Day.

This, he said was to further promote his ideals and excellent scholarship disposition in the coming generation.

The monarch said that Soyinka, being the first African Nobel Prize winner in Literature and an international playwright who is wanted in every part of the world, deserves to be honoured back home.

Gbadebo made this call on Tuesday, at a press conference in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, to herald a series of events lined up to mark the 90th birthday of the first African Nobel Prize winner in Literature.

He described Soyinka as a global icon, a living legend, a playwright, actor, human rights and political activist, a hunter and a globally respected elder statesman with roots in Ake, Abeokuta.

This, he said was why the Egba land is rolling out the drums to celebrate the honour and glamour the famous poet has brought to his kith and kins in Ogun State.

He said that the theme for the 90th celebration of the Nobel Laureate fondly called, Kongi is “Defiance and Creativity: A Celebration of Soyinka’s Artistic Ingenuity and Impact on Nigeria, Africa and The Entire World”.

Gbadebo said, “It will be appropriate for the Federal Government to adopt July 13 as a national day to celebrate Prof Wole Soyinka given his contribution to literature and humanity globally.

“It will be good to henceforth adopt his birthday which is July 13 as Wole Soyinka Day. In fact, New Orleans in the United States of America has already adopted a day to celebrate him, so why can’t we do so to honour our own too?

“The Federal Government should also in addition to this confer on Wole Soyinka the second highest national honour of Grand Commander of Order of Niger because of his contribution to register our dear nation on the global map.”

The convener of Soyinka’s 90th birthday, Paul Bankole, said the essence of the celebration was to acknowledge Soyinka’s contributions both academically and to humanity as a whole.

Bankole said, “I believe that people like Prof Soyinka should be celebrated while they are alive.

“We must not wait till they are gone before we begin to pour accolades on them. Let them understand that we value them and acknowledge their unique contribution towards having a better world,”

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