Airline seat controversy: I should have been punished – Soyinka

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Nobel Laureate, Prof. Woke Soyinka, on Saturday defended a youngman who asked him to quit his airplane window seat on a recent flight.

A politician, Tonye Cole, had made a post on social media, in which he alleged that the youngman asked Soyinka to get up from his seat.

Cole had claimed that the man was upbraided by other passengers for asking the professor to get up from his seat.

The issue generated heated debates on social media, with many describing the passenger as uncouth and disrespectful.

However, Soyinka said in a statement that it was wrong for him to have occupied another person’s seat in the aircraft.

He said airlines ought to fine passengers who occupy wrong seats “even for one second,” and donate such funds to charitable causes.

He also hit back at the co-passenger’s critics.

The full statement reads: ”

Starconnect Media

NEWS Wrong seat hullabaloo, Pro. Wole Soyinka calls for punishment
BystarconnectPosted on June 29, 2019 NOBEL LAUREATE, PROFESSOR WOLE SOYINKA
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Emmanuel Ukudolo l Saturday, June 29, 2019

LAGOS, Nigeria – Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has spoken for the first time, laying to rest the hullabaloo surrounding his taking a passenger’s seat in an unidentified airline.

Professor Wole Soyinka however stunned many who have used the opportunity offered by the incident to pontificate on African culture, tradition and values which emphasize ultimate respect for the elderly, irrespectively of the circumstance.

Instead of indulging Nigerians, the reverred professor of literature is calling for punitive measures and wants to be used as the first to be so punished for sitting on a wrong seat. But he does not see it as punishment but a humanitarian getures to raise funds for charity.

He feels the punishment should be imposed even if the wrong seat is taken for just one second.

“Those who permit themselves to be persuaded, even for one second that I, Wole Soyinka, having wrongly identified a seat number like millions of travellers all the time, and all over the the world, would then attempt to consolidate the error in any form, through act, word, or gesture, qualify to be the first beneficiaries of this vastly improved humanitarian policy”, he said.

See full text of statement

“I don’t know how much airlines succeed in raising for their charity drives through those envelopes they distribute to passengers into which their captive donors are exhorted to deposit their loose change before disembarking.

“Such monies are then distributed to worthy causes all over the world, especially in the pursuit of health. What I am convinced of is that they would generate a hundred times more if they were more creative.

“For instance, they could impose a fine on passengers who take the wrong seat on boarding, even for a second. One can only rejoice in the thought of such benefits to humanity in its efforts to eradicate all kinds of diseases, especially malnutrition, and ensure the supply of nutrients that prevent the premature onset of brain impairment.

“Those who permit themselves to be persuaded, even for one second that I, Wole Soyinka, having wrongly identified a seat number like millions of travellers all the time, and all over the the world, would then attempt to consolidate the error in any form, through act, word, or gesture, qualify to be the first beneficiaries of this vastly improved humanitarian policy”, he said.

WOLE SOYINKA”

 

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