Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria, has disclosed that the reason he omitted to attend the award ceremony organised by Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) was that he believed it would have been insensitive to receive an award in the same period as Omoyele Sowore’s travails.
Vice President Osinbajo who was to receive an “integrity award” disclosed this in a letter which he wrote to WSCIJ and shared with theCable by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, on Monday, December 9.
The award which was postponed by the centre was said “to be in alignment 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.”
The letter reads:
“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.”