A letter was released by the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo addressing Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), giving two reasons for his absence where he was to be given an ‘Integrity Award’.
In the letter released by Laolu Akande, Osinbajo’s spokesman, the vice-president said it would be insensitive for him to attend the award ceremony in the light of the travails of Omoyele Sowore.
Osinbajo released the letter on Monday, hours after the centre announced it was postponing the award of Osinbajo over Sowore’s treatment.
It had said the postponement was “to align with protests against the repression of freedom of speech in recent times especially the incident between the Department of State Security (DSS) and Omoleye Sowore.” In the letter shared with TheCable, Osinbajo explained the reason he would be absent at the event.
The letter reads:
”I am extremely grateful for the recognition and award of the “Integrity Specialty of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019” to me.
“The award, I note, is for our Justice reform efforts in Lagos State. I had accepted the award with pride on behalf of the excellent Justice Sector team we had.
“However, two reasons explain my absence. First is that I am currently in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the UAE where I am the keynote speaker.
“Second, in view of the development on Friday in the Sowore case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony. Please accept my heartfelt apologies and extend the same to the other members of the organizing team. God bless you.”