The Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, on Monday lambasted those he called ‘identity thieves’ who impersonate him online and operate social media accounts in his name.
Mr. Soyinka made the condemnation at a press briefing organised by the Wole Soyinka Foundation at Freedom Park, Lagos Island.
The briefing was part of the Foundation’s initiative to seek public support for its Study Abroad In Lebanon, SAIL, programme.
Speaking at the programme, Mr. Soyinka dissociated himself and the Wole Soyinka Foundation from every Facebook and Twitter account operated by those he said were out to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
“They created a Wole Soyinka blogspot or whatever. There is also Wole Soyinka Twitter. Please, I am begging you (journalists) to note that I don’t do Facebook, I don’t do Twitter and I don’t do blogs.
“I implore you in the name of whatever it is you believe in to help squash them,” he said.
“Please note that they are fake. There is only one Wole Soyinka Foundation,” he added.
The Nobel laureate added that the public should be wary of such “identity thieves” as they are out to defraud the people.
Some of the participants in the study programme were also unveiled at the press briefing as others could not make it to the event.
Mr. Soyinka, who said those shortlisted for this year’s edition of the programme are writers, disclosed that next year’s edition would focus on journalists.
He also implored governments at all levels to support the initiative.
In his speech, Habib Jafaar, a facilitator of the SAIL programme, noted that the programme will go a long way in broadening the horizon of the successful participants.
The SAIL programme is a partnership between the Wole Soyinka Foundation and Cedars Institute, Notre Dame University, Lebanon.
The programme would enable participants interact with their peers from other countries in a bid to enrich their perspectives.