Alamieyeseigha’s Pardon: Soyinka Speaks at Last. Has Something for Reuben Abati too!

Wole-Soyinka-360x225Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has eventually spoken out on the state pardon granted to former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, by President Goodluck Jonathan’s government. The Nobel Laureate described it as an act of impunity and a symbol of corrupt mentality.

Soyinka made this known in Lagos on Wednesday during a programme ushering in the Lagos Black Heritage Festival. He lent his voice to those of civil society groups, international community and individuals who had vehemently condemned the President’s action.

Also, on the statement made by the Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Media, Dr. Reuben Abati, who had, on a TV programme, described those who are criticising Jonathan over the matter as suffering from “sophisticated ignorance”, Soyinka said he did not mind being called such a name for bearing his mind on the state pardon.

Therefore, Soyinka insists that: “On the state pardon granted the former governor, I want to join the bandwagon of the ignorant persons. I am happy to be counted among them. For me, this kind of impunity is not unconnected to the controversy, which has been surrounding the N4bn allocation being sought by the First Lady Mission. It is part of the same corrupt mentality,” he said. He also added that it was also disappointing that some ministers had given contradictory interpretations to the object of the pardon.

Soyinka said it was not right for Jonathan to lump Alamieyeseigha’s case with those of the other people granted pardon alongside him. According to him, the cases of other ex-convicts were largely political, as evident in the antics of the late Sanni Abacha junta that implicated them in a controversial coup.

His words: “What is going on right now gives the picture of a government that is floundering and justifying the unjustifiable. It amounts to encouragement of corruption. The felon is wanted by the United States Government. We have a case of an officer of the law – a governor – who went to another country and broke the law of the nation. He jumped bail.

“I believe that such a person does not deserve a state pardon. So, I have joined the league of the ignorant persons condemning the act. I criticise and deplore President Jonathan for granting pardon to the former governor.”


Culled from the Punch


  1. Emeritus Professor sir,Reuben Abati is a puppet and He has no mind of his own.He is a mere opportunist who accidentally found himself at the position of power and absolute power has corrupted him.

  2. Mr,Reuben,is long gone and I do not reckon with his press comments for a very long time. He is just there for what he can get and not for equity. I feel for him because he is under estimating the damage that the position he is occupying will do and is doing to his person. What a pity!

  3. D issue is, given such a pardon where are we driven ourself 2. Once someon e commit such an act, destroyin d image of dis so call might nation, nd what lesson is it going 2 be 2 us d young generation comin up, surely dis in nt a gud set of examples

  4. Professor Emeritus I respect you so much in terms of academic,despite you’re the founder of pirates fraternity & this brought cultism in our higher institutions. I’m sure your professor of literature,english language or communications and you seem not to know the meaning of presidential pardon or is it old age,please prof kindly look for the meaning of presidential pardon in any standard dictionary or encyclopedia. You’re following america to condemn your president because he granted pardon to Alams,do you know that in 1973 president Ford of U.S.A granted pardon to Ex Presient Nixon for Water Gate scandal,or you don’t know the meaning of water gate scandal too.

  5. Dominic,i kno u ar Reuben Abati. Y ar u hiding ur identity? U are a coward like ur imbecile master who doesnt hav any good sense of judgement.D Prof. has spoken d truth just like all other sensible Nigerians.

  6. i hate it wen d only way some people address issues is by comparation & giving stupid unrelated examples 2 prove their points… @dominic, if u want 2 state ur point, pls do so without comparing nigeria & america… d prof. is saying d truth… there shld b no pardon 4 corruption 4 life. so dat 2moro, our leaders wil not get into corrupt because they know they wil get presidential pardon later. . . this is wot has killing dis country economically. . . .

  7. Indeed,Prof has spoken well,we need people like him who can take the bull by the horn to tell them the truth.please don’t stop telling them.

  8. profesor u brougt cultism to our intitution yes or nou ned pardon abi;more nig re just followers,last yr b/4 obama 2 term he pardon 16 pipul includin a drugs audit he also pardon a gun runer dat killed abt 42 pipuls he pardon dem,obama sign 666 into law,no 1 of us say anytin,pls nig,y USA wil nt like nig is.1 we dnt suport samesex marrage law,if God can 4giv us our sin den y cnt we.

  9. No matter how one may want to cover up corruption, the truth will always be known. The govt should know that whatever they are doing, the whole world is watching.

  10. dont let us put politics into our arguement.there is no sin that cannot be forgiven.if God can forgive us our sin,how much more human being like us.we all know that alameisia did bad thing but his offence has not gone beyond presidential pardon,if we want to criticise our president on the ground that alameisia is from his state do so even at that God has order us to pardon our enemy not to talk of our brother.i want to believe it is not out of place to grant him pardon.come to think of it during the colonial era they exploit our resources,purnish us,enslave us and never show any remorse for that yet we forgave them and stil relate wit them.if it is proven beyond reasonable doubt d killer of dele giwa,saro wiwa,kudirat abiola nd co and cabal are stil in our midst and we are against pardon who have learnt his lesson in d hard way… why?

  11. The fact is the act is suspecious considering that Alams was his former principal. Nevertheless anyone of us could have done it. Afterall power is a virtue…. and Blessed are those that have it.

  12. if some one u stole Billion of naira in this country and also jump bail abroad can be giving a state pardon what is the faith of some one who steal goat, generator, phones. Who were in jail without any trial. Dis country is gone

  13. Prof,wit due rspct,as highly placed as ur status,i condem evry bit of dis ur opinion.isnt it enof mind-boggling dat d ex-pres nd broda stripped alams of its impunity nd allowd a servn gov grabbled arnd d u.s by d already-waitin predato(us) lnging 2 prey on 1 of us?isnt it enof dat alams served jail term unda d us law nd logicaly a repntnt sinner?isnt it purley partisan 4 soyinka 2 quarrel a pardon granted a man who ws a scape goat 4 obj who hv many strings of coruptn charges tied arnd his neck yet walking freely arnd d streets.PROF,DEA IS NO JUSTIFICATION 4 UR OPINION BUT TNX 4 LENDING UR VOICE.

  14. Prof has spoken,but he was among de ppl dat foised dis corrupt & inept politicians on us. Or has he soon forgotten how,prior to de 2011 election he became good ambassador to de villa? If he were honoured pro,he would ‘ve wept like Buhari.

  15. This is a pittiable abysmal appeasemeant,a Reuben Abati acted in solitary amongst the learned person in Nigeria by supporting his master-Jonathan,given presidential pardon to corrupt ALAMS…this is emphatical fact that birds of the same feather flucks together.

  16. The words of Reuben Abati 23rd April 2008…(not in public office)…

    Alami himself has chosen to ruin his chances, destroy his own moral base if he ever had any, by conducting himself in a manner that is unbecoming of a leader and a gentleman. By running away from England under the cover of the night, away from the British judiciary which was probing him on charges of money laundering, by taking evasive action from the law and communicating with his feet, Alamiyeseigha, a man who until now was known and addressed as His Excellency, has shown himself to be a dishonourable fellow, unfit to rule, unfit to sit among men and women of honour and integrity, unfit to preach to the people that he leads about ideals and values…

    The words of Reuben Abati March 2013…(In public office)… on a TV programme, described those who are criticising Jonathan over the matter as suffering from “sophisticated ignorance”…

    The man has his price!!


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