On COVID-19: Trust doctors, scientists not fiction writers like Soyinka’ Presidency tells Nigerians
Garba Shehu, special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, has called on Nigerians to disregard Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka’s reservations on the lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states.
Recall that TheNewsGuru(TNG) had earlier published a report detailing how Soyinka faulted the Buhari-led government for disregarding democratic process in enacting the lockdown in the said states.
Reacting to Soyinka’s remarks, Shehu said he (Soyinka) only had qualifications in English literature and not medicine or science, stating that he does not qualify to be judged as a professional on the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
The presidential aide said “perhaps Wole Soyinka may write a play on the coronavirus pandemic, after this emergency is over. In the meantime, we ask the people of Nigeria to trust the words of our doctors and scientists – and not fiction writers – at this time of national crisis.’’
“Yesterday, the esteemed Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka made comments on the legal status and description of 14-day lockdown announced by President Muhammadu Buhari,” Shehu wrote in a statement.
“Professor Soyinka is not a medical professor. His qualifications are in English literature, and his prizes are for writing books and plays for theatres. He is of course entitled to his opinions – but that is exactly all they are: semantics, not science. They cannot – and should not – therefore be judged as professional expertise in this matter in any shape or form.
“Across the world – from parts of the United States and China, to countries including the United Kingdom and France, government – mandated lockdowns are in place to slow and defeat the spread of coronavirus.
“All have been declared, and all have been made necessary, based on medical and scientific evidence. The guidance of the Nigerian Government’s medical specialists is to advise the same.”