Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has reacted to an incident on an airplane where a younger traveller reportedly asked him to vacate his seat.

Soyinka in his response on Tuesday, described the incident as a ’very minor thing’ and added that he had ’forgotten all about it.’

”Someone sent me Patrick Tonye’s comment on the plane incident, and I saw your brief comment. It was a very minor thing and I’d forgotten all about it. However, after reading the boy’s response, I became curious. First, I never exchanged a word with him throughout beyond inviting him to take his allotted seat. Never spoke a word to him after that. Certainly never exchanged contact. So of course, I wonder if it’s the very individual who’s posted this or a total fake,” Soyinka said in a mail shared by Media entrepreneur, Mo Abudu.

”The phenomenon of stolen identities takes very strange dimensions and has become a source of worry. I wonder if this is one such. Any way of your finding out. I don’t operate in the social media as you probably recall.’’

The matter was first shared on social media by former Rivers State All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Tonye Cole.

Cole’s account had triggered a huge debate online after explaining how the yet-to-identified man defied pleas to allow the 84-year-old professor keep the seat.

The debate became even more heated after a social media user, Tosin Odunfa claimed he was the man at the centre of the incident, and that Mr Soyinka later applauded his decision as they chatted in-flight. But he latter admitted he lied.

Mr Odunfa, who works for Ms Abudu’s EbonyTV, made this clarification on his Twitter handle on Tuesday.

He said he was just trying to create a plausible scenario on why the youth must rise up and defend their future from the ageing-patriarchal society that doesn’t know the damage it is doing to their future.

Among other things, Mr Odunfa had claimed that he was a Ph.D holder and a lecturer at the ’University of Mannittawiw,’ a school that doesn’t exist.

Mr Odunfa’s claims were first posted on the Instagram page of Daddy Freeze and on Twitter.