Would you give up your airplane seat for Nigeria’s Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka? This was the hot topic on Nigerian Twittersphere on Monday.

It all began after a Nigerian businessman, Tonye Cole, shared his flight experience about a young man who ‘disrespected’ Mr Soyinka by asking for him (Soyinka) to leave his allotted seat which the professor sat on.

He (Cole) is seen begging the un-named man to allow Mr Soyinka to remain on the seat.

The younger man refuses and Mr Soyinka eventually leaves the seat to return to his own seat, much to Mr Cole’s disgust.

Mr Cole shared a picture that showed Mr Soyinka and the young man, accompanied by a lengthy caption detailing the incident. The post read:

“@professorwolesoyinka #celebrategreatness #relationshipsmatter met one of the greatest Nigerians walking the earth today and as with other times, he was genteel, witty, forthright and humble. My smile gives me away as he permitted the picture whereas he would have preferred to get back to his newspapers. Then we boarded the flight and after assisting him with his bags, he took the window seat and promptly started reading again.

A few minutes later this young man, baseball cap, t-shirt to show his muscled chest and tattooed biceps boards the plane and tells Prof he is on his seat (which he was). Those of us including the cabin crew tried to reason with Bobo Fine to let the old man be but the chap refused. He insisted Prof should vacate his window seat, which the old man quietly did for his original aisle seat next to him.

I couldn’t understand how we got to this point where we no longer have respect for elders, even if are so ignorant of the great global personalities in our midst. Is it too much to ask that an elderly man be allowed to remain in a seat allotted to you in the same business class cabin and the same row?

Na wa o!”‘

The post has gained a lot of traction on social media with different people expressing diverse views.

Check out some Twitter reactions below:

The young man that told 80 year old Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka to get up, move to the aisle and vacate the window seat for him on a commercial flight is disrespecful and irreverant.We know it is his right but it is not every right that u insist on exercising.#wolesoyinka

– Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) June 24, 2019

People differ at the end, if I were in his shoe I would have been excited to meet wole soyinka in person, would point out he is on my seat but won’t ask him to leave. Everybody with their way… 😕

– Flora (@mzphora) June 24, 2019

The funniest thing in this whole baseless argument is Wole Soyinka didn’t even claim any elderly and iconic entitlement to argue for the seat that’s not his… … … … … .are you people aware that Atiku is not even coming from his bedroom not to mention going near Aso Rock gate?

– SoulJah (@jeffphilips1) June 24, 2019

If I was in that guy shoe, I would do same, u can’t come from nowhere to claim the seat I reserved for myself… .The young man acted right, Wole Soyinka ought to have maintained the seat reserved for him. This has got nothing to do with respect,is about doing what’s right.

– Mr Solomon (@OrjiSolomon7) June 24, 2019

If I was Wole Soyinka, I would be mad at Tonye for coming online to tell people about how I was selfish and wanted to use a seat that someone else took time and paid for. The young man could even be richer than Wole, who knows if he is a celeb in his own world?

– Daniel Ifeanyi (@I_Danielifeanyi) June 24, 2019

“I would use the opportunity to talk to Wole Soyinka”

Wole Soyinka:

– Mbaneshar (@Ojone_) June 24, 2019

As at press time, neither Soyinka nor the man in question has addressed the encounter publicly.


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