Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka on Monday in Lagos decried the rising cases of stolen human identities, highlighting the allegation of President Muhammadu Buhari being cloned and various Facebook impersonations including himself. He was speaking at the Lagos event was the Worldwide reading for Freedom of the Press and in Memory of Jamal Khashoggi in commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, held at the Freedom Park, Lagos Island on Monday 10 December, 2018.
The playwright, noted that besides the protection of right to freedom of expression, there was the need for right to protect a person’s identity from being stolen. Soyinka, who condemned his identity impersonation on Facebook, said that if he were to suggest for the revision of the UN Charter on Human Rights, he would add that “everyone has right not to have his or her identity stolen”.
According to him, the problem of identity has made someone to be impersonating him as a store keeper on Facebook.
This was just as he further disclosed that Facebook appears powerless to take down the page because it was already verified, adding that fellow concerned had been doing a lot of business transactions in his name. According to him, the media have responsibilities to assume as part of its mission for the nation to have maximum integrity, the issue of identity of expressions. “This is beyond Facebook, we are talking about individuals having their attribution by their identity. I have made statements about the next elections which I’m never aware of, but that have been done in my name. We need not just freedom of expression but also the integrity of freedom of expression,” he said.
Speaking further, he Nobel Laureate stated the impostor who is Nigerian, had also gotten a contract with Amazon using his name, adding that he has thousands of followers on Facebook by using his name. He, however, gave the impostor a 7-day ultimatum to pull down the page or he would express his freedom of expression to the fullest, declaring the issue at hand as that concerning humanity and integrity of communication.