Soyinka’s warning will not stop Blacks’ confab in Brazil, says Omolewa

Soyinka at the briefing in Lagos … on Tuesday                                                    PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Soyinka at the briefing in Lagos … on Tuesday PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

NOTWITHSTANDING the recent admonition of Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka over the running of the affairs of the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU) in Osogbo, preparations are being finalized for the second Global Conference of Black Nationalities billed for Brazil in November this year.

Chairman, local organising committee for the conference, Emeritus Prof. Michael Omolewa told The Guardian yesterday, “by the grace of God, the conference will hold in Brazil from 15-18 November this year.”

At a press conference last week, Prof. Soyinka had issued a warning that Nigeria shouldn’t be “dragged into a sleazy situation through the attempted co-option of its foreign missions into logistic support for their global enterprises,” in reference to the dispute over the leadership of CBCIU between him and the former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

Part of the objectives of the briefing, Soyinka stated, “is to make sure that the conference which is being planned is not wasted.”

Earlier, a Caveat Emptor had been issued, warning the public to disregard the conference as only the CBCIU Board headed by Soyinka “has the authority to organize such event within and outside the country.”

However, a member of the CBCIU’s Board of Trustees with Oyinlola as Chairman, Prof. Omolewa described the theme of the forthcoming conference: Globalization and its effects: Charting a true course for the development of the black race as “both topical and germane.”

Omolewa said, “The Conference will take a critical look at the positive potentials of open discussions on globalization and its effects as a means of evaluating the success of the programme, as embraced by the whole world.

“In particular, the conference would gauge the influence of globalization on the black race. The forum would afford the participants the opportunity of identifying and mobilizing towards a common agenda of elevating the Black Race and Black Diaspora.

“The is an open constructive dialogue about inequalities, undemocratic, non-consultative, and non-transparent origins, structures, and patterns of engagement in the implementation of the agenda of Globalization and how best to ensure that the agenda profits all part of the world. This is not about race; but an invitation to participants – black intelligentsia, non-black academics, as well as, the global vanguard of culture to discuss the effects of Globalization, as upheld by the United Nations and its specialized agencies that preach the articulation of a common vision, strategies and programmes for global development.”

Omolewa is optimistic that the “Outcomes of the conference will be made available to the United Nations and its specialized organs, particularly UNESCO, regional and multilateral organizations, and indeed, all nations under UNESCO’s umbrella, as part of CBCIU’s mandate at promoting socio-economic development, peace, harmonious co-existence and international understanding. Globalization is a fiery topic these days of multilateralism and no effort put in to assess this UN agenda towards the close of the MDGs this year would be too much. Globalization is important because it is designed to close the widening gap between the rich and the poor all over the world; and particularly between the developed and the developing nations.”

Omolewa however, declined to comment on the issues raised by Soyinka during his recent briefing saying, “Chairman, CBCIU Board of Trustees, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola will address that on Thursday (tomorrow).”

Soyinka had said, “While the courts tried to address the conundrum of a life appointee being dispossessed while still very much alive, Mr. Oyinlola chose to pre-empt the court’s decision. Aided, and even physically accompanied by Nigeria’s former representative to UNESCO, Dr. Omolewa, who was familiar with the interstices of that institution, Oyinlola commenced a campaign, both internally and externally, to disseminate a fraudulent version of the court proceeding. The prince has claimed – and still does! -That the courts had indeed found for him, and that he is back in office as chairman of CBCIU.”

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