Gumsu, one of the daughters of the late maximum ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha, has taken to Twitter to snarl abuse at Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
She described the iconic writer as an “empty professor”, accusing him of assuming the role of a critic in the Nigerian polity because of financial gains.
Though the reason behind the Twitter rant could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, her earlier message in a tweet had stated, “Do the thing you fear the most. If there’s one thing that will change your thoughts quicker than anything else, it’s facing your fears.”
However, no sooner had she posted the tweet than a barrage of criticisms started trailing her comment. The first set of criticisms came from some of her fans on the social network.
One Sal Adeleke, tweeting via @HAJMAJA, said, “Look, if you bring in Soyinka, people might get offended and start insulting your family. I wouldn’t like that to happen for a reason. Please, don’t get involved in this game. It seems you have transformed to something else since the release of Al-Mustapha. What’s going on?”
But just as Adeleke predicted, a floodgate of criticism was unleashed on Gumsu by many Nigerians who deemed her action as an utter disrespect to the person and standing of Soyinka.
Many viewed the attack as a wild and extremely rude show of disrespect while others described her effrontery as “shameless boldness.” Some accused Gumsu of not having responsible adults in her family, with many others urging her to return the money his father looted before coming out to comment on national issues.
A Twitter user, Sam Adebayo, tweeting via @olujiire, said, “Do you set yourself on memory lane to remember how your father died? I bet you don’t have elders in your household.”
Another user of the micro-blogging service, Paul, explained that he is still at a loss as to how a daughter of a renowned ‘thief’ would describe Soyinka as an “empty professor.”
He said, “Imagine, the daughter of a thief, referring to a renowned Prof. Wole Soyinka as a mad empty professor.I wonder!”
Lending a voice to the criticism, Nigeria’s online hacking group, NaijaCyberHactivists, tweeting via @NaijaCyberHack, said, “It is unfortunate that a family like yours (Gumsu) still comment on issues in this country. A family that defines all what shame connotes.”
A member of the popular online forum, nairaland.com, with the name, Phull said, “What did your Father Abacha amount to in this life with all the stolen billions and hundreds of murdered Nigerians? What have you as a person achieved in your pathetic existence?
Professor Wole Soyinka is one of the brightest lights from Nigeria and Africa, on his own merit alone! This is a man who was at one point or the other Professor at Harvard, Cornell, with Honorary Doctorate degrees from Leeds, Harvard, and Princeton.
In case you don’t know, these are not the schools where ‘thieves’ are awarded phoney Honoris Causa. In fact, no one in your generation would be considered worthy of admission even into any of these universities for you are so dull, you have absolutely no brains that can be educated!”
Threading softly with Gumsu, one Thomas George asked, “Gumsu, what has Prof Soyinka done to deserve this tongue lashing? He is a Nigerian icon, in this time of very few of his type, you know.”
One Shehu Muhammad-Bello said on Twitter that Gumsu’s attack on Soyinka could be a desperate attempt by her to get favour and attention from the wife of the President, Patience Jonathan, as the latter recently took a swipe at the Nobel laureate.
Mohammed-Bello explained, “What’s her reason for attacking the Prof as such? I mean he (Soyinka) may be wrong in many things but not on Dame Patience. Unless if she has a reason for trying to please the new first family for favours, if not, then why?”
Summing up the barrage of criticisms, Grace Ben-Kato wrote on Facebook, “I am not surprised. She is morally bankrupt; empty and has nothing to offer. That is why she can open her dirty mouth to insult a man who commands a lot of respect.”