A lot of Nigerians have reacted to a story on Twitter which detailed how a young passenger traveling in the same aircraft with Nigeria’s foremost playwright and Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka asked him to vacate a window seat that he was occupying during a commercial flight.
According to Tonye Cole who witnessed the incident, the seat in which the prof was seating was meant for the young passenger while the one next to the aisle was for Prof. Soyinka. Instead of allowing the prof to take the seat since he was already seated before him, the passenger insisted that he must leave, and the prof obliged gently.
This attitude towards the national icon didn’t quite sit well with some people who went on to bash the young man for being disrespectful, while others absolved him of any wrong doing.
Many people, including the former Aviation Minister of Nigeria and national critic, Femi Fani-Kayode condemned the young passenger’s action.
The young man that told 80 year old Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka to get up, move to the aisle and vacate the window seat for him on a commercial flight is disrespecful and irreverant.We know it is his right but it is not every right that u insist on exercising.#wolesoyinka pic.twitter.com/zFITO7PRu9
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) June 24, 2019
However, others said the young man didn’t do anything wrong by asking for his seat.
Any diligent reader of Wole Soyinka will know that he would have insisted on his seat as a young man.
Yes, our culture demands respect for elders. But undue entitlement by senior citizens, especially when the premise is wrong, should always be resisted. That’s why we are here.
— Ayò Bánkólé (@AyoBankole) June 24, 2019
There were also people who were of the opinion that the issue wasn’t worth the attention it is receiving, attributing it to the unnecessary nosiness of Tonye Cole.
Wole Soyinka never refused to get up.
Wole Soyinka never insisted to sit there.
Infact Wole is the kind of man who would have stood his ground also if same thing happened to him as a young man.
Tonye Cole was just drinking Kolaq Alagbo over another person’s headache.
— OurFavOnlineDoctor (@DrOlufunmilayo) June 24, 2019
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