The Presidency told Prof. Soyinka that he lacked professional competence to ignite unnecessary tension on the decision of the President because he is not a medical professor.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Mallam Garba Shehu in a statement issued in Abuja said the Nobel Laureate’s qualifications are in English literature, and his prizes are for writing books and plays for theatres.
The statement further stated that even though Soyinka was entitled to his opinions, they were mere semantics and not science.
It read: “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.
“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.
“Professor Soyinka has also declared, doubtless based on his specialism as a playwright, that: ‘We are not in a war emergency.’