Thursday, 1 December 2016

Wole Soyinka destroys US Green card

Nobel Literature prize-winner Prof Wole Soyinka has kept to his words to trash the US Green Card, a residency permit treasured by many,  following the election of Donald Trump.

Trump’s victory on 9 November had left him mortified since.

The AFP reported that Soyinka revealed his action, which he had called ‘Wolexit’  on the sidelines of an education conference at the University of Johannesburg.

He told the French news agency that he has fulfilled his pledge to throw away his US residency green card and leave the country.

Shortly before the vote, Soyinka had vowed to give up his permanent US residency over a Trump victory to protest against the Republican billionaire’s campaign promises to get tough on immigration.

“I have already done it, I have disengaged (from the United States). I have done what I said I would do,” the 82-year-old Nigerian said.

“I had a horror of what is to come with Trump… I threw away the (green) card, and I have relocated, and I’m back to where I have always been” — meaning his homeland Nigeria.

The prolific playwright, novelist and poet won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986 and has been a regular teacher at US universities including Harvard, Cornell and Yale.

At the same time he said he would not discourage others from applying for a green card.

“It’s useful in many ways. I wouldn’t for one single moment discourage any Nigerians or anybody from acquiring a green card… but I have had enough of it,” he said.

Soyinka, one of Africa’s most famous writers and rights activists, was jailed in 1967 for 22 months during Nigeria’s civil war.

He was reported to have recently completed a term as scholar-in-residence at New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs.

 It will not be the first time that Soyinka would act this way.

In 1993, Soyinka threw away the national honour,  Commander of the Federal Republic, bestowed on him by the Babangida administration, following the annulment of the June 12 election, won clearly by businessman Moshood Abiola.

NAN
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