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Soyinka: How I Made Up With Gowon



By Emmanuel Adigwe

Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has opened up on his relationship with former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, who had arrested him and placed him under solitary confinement at the beginning of the civil war.

GWG recalls that the playwright was detained by the Gowon administration for two years in the wake of the Nigerian Civil War.

Speaking with Channels Television, the Soyinka said that he still communicates with the former Head of State whenever possible and that there was nothing between them now to forgive.

Soyinka said: “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 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 can’t stand liars.”

He also disclosed how Gowon made efforts countless times to reach out to him before they met at a conference.

He said: “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. And I said, ‘any time’ but there is really nothing much to talk about.

“We hit it on very well and we joked. The ice was broken and since then, we have been friends.”

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