Nobel laureate Professor Wole Soyinka yesterday y described the proposed allocation of N4 billion for the building of an office for Patience Jonathan's African First Ladies Mission Initiative as mind-boggling.
Soyinka in his address read by Okei-Odumakin who led scores of women under the aegis of Women Arise for Change Initiative, condemned the move which he described as a mind-boggling fiscal misappropriation.
Okei-Odumakin who stormed the office of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to protest the move read Soyinka's letter to the governor and the entire gathering.
According to Soyinka, the setting up of such initiative was another "egregious conspiracy to drain the Nigerian treasury, mounted in the name of a high-flying member of your gender. I have therefore elected not to lend my affection to any one individual, but the entire bevy of First Ladies of the African continent-and that includes First Male Spouses. What, after all, is to stop these male consorts from developing 'pet projects' and setting up Missions? Even if they number no more than one or two, there is a saying that goes: 'what is sauce for the goose, is also sauce for the gander.'"
He said the move was an attempt to legalise illegality through a debasement of the democratic process and wastage of public fund for such project.
"A mind-boggling fiscal misappropriation - N4 billion, - is being attempted in your names - openly, in an attempt to institutionalize an illegality through a debasement of the democratic process. It is no longer secretive but in-your-face, and damn public opinion!
"Your names (women) have been invoked as the ultimate beneficiaries, and thus, you are vicariously implicated.
In the name of St. Valentine and the love I bear for you all, please dissociate yourself from this display of shameless avarice. I shall not go so far as to ask you to denounce what you probably know nothing about, but if you ever get to hear of it, distance yourselves from the gross impropriety."
The group brandished placards with inscription such as 'N4bn will create jobs, no to mission house'; 'we say no to fiscal rascality,' and the women marched from the Lagos State Television premises to the office of the governor, chanting solidarity songs.