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Nigerian president hails Soyinka on his 80th birthday

Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka in Enugu, southeastern Nigeria on March 1, 2012Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan praised compatriot Wole Soyinka, the 1986 Nobel literature prize laureate who turns 80 on Sunday, for using his talents to promote good governance. Jonathan applauded Soyinka’s “life-long dedication and indefatigable commitment to using his acclaimed genius and talents, not only in the service of the arts, but also for the promotion of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.” Former dictator General Yakubu Gowon, who jailed the writer for about two years during Nigeria’s 1967-70 civil war, attended a lecture in Soyinka’s hometown on Friday, saying: “I have come to Abeokuta for the sake of this particular man, to honour him.”

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