Why I Didn’t Attend Wole Soyinka’s Award Ceremony: Osinbajo


VP Yemi Osinbajo
VP Yemi Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has explained why he failed to show up at award ceremony put together by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) to receive an ‘award for integrity’.

Osinbajo gave his reason, in a letter to the WSCIJ, which was released by Laolu Akande, Osinbajo’s spokesman.

According to the vice-president, it would make no sense to attend the award ceremony following the current travails of Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow movement.

The vice president’s letter was released on Monday, shortly after the centre announced it was postponing the award of Osinbajo over Sowore’s treatment.

It said the postponement was “to align with protests against the repression of freedom of speech in recent times especially the incident between the Department of State Security (DSS) and Omoleye Sowore.”

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However, Osinbajo’s letter read:” I am extremely grateful for the recognition and award of the “Integrity Specialty of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019” to me.

“The award, I note, is for our Justice reform efforts in Lagos State. I had accepted the award with pride on behalf of the excellent Justice Sector team we had.

“However, two reasons explain my absence. First is that I am currently in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the UAE where I am the keynote speaker.

“Second, in view of the development on Friday in the Sowore case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.

“Please accept my heartfelt apologies and extend the same to the other members of the organizing team. God bless you.”