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Awards: FUNAAB My Last Bus Stop, Says Soyinka



Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, at the weekend said that the Honorary Doctorate Degree of Letters awarded to him by the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), is the last of such awards he would receive.

While thanking the management of FUNAAB, on behalf of himself and his co-awardee, Prof Toyin Falola “for this distinguished honor, which of course, means a lot to me than it can to him,” Soyinka said, “I assure you in all seriousness that I am honoured to be honoured by this institution. There was a slight error in my designation, but before I tell you, I want you to remember that this is an agricultural institute.

“The disciplines involved not only plant and harvesting and distribution and preserving food, it also deals with departments like pest control, one of the greatest enemies of the farm and among the pest, you know you have not just the weevil, we have quila birds, rodents, some edible, some not so edible.

“You have even sometimes ‘igala’, antelopes, tooku all who uproot the farmers’ labour and destroy their crops and I have some individuals who are assigned of taking care of these pest that plague the farmers.

“I have been a very enthusiastic scientist in that respect even this premises constitute my hunting grounds and for that scientific mission, I should have been given a DSc, Doctor of Science but I am not complaining”.

He said that he was emotional when he listened to one of the earlier speakers about the travails which FUNAAB had gone through, adding it was far more serious than he ever imagined.

He said, “I used to come here, drive in, just shake my head in sorrow because most of what should have been student’s dormitory were deserted, the class rooms were deserted and I will just go into the bush and do some little pest control while everybody was away but now I am glad that this place is once more alive, the disciplines are ongoing, being enhanced and let us hope that when I come here the next time, I will not find a deserted village.

“There is one final statement which I want to make here today and before I make it I want to assure Professor Falola that this does not concern him, at least to carry on and not feel that he is in anyway bound by my remarks here.”

He said that the remarks were strictly for him, adding that what he would say is the truth.