October 28, 1967


On this day, the Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Anthony Enahoro, said in Lagos that playwright, Wole Soyinka, head of the department of drama at the University of Ibadan had been officially detained with effect from that month of October for security reasons.

Giving details of his arrest and subsequent detention, Chief Enahoro told newsmen that Wole Soyinka had made a statement to the police that:

  1. He was in Enugu on August 6, 1967 with Mr. Ojukwu.
  2. He admitted that he had an arrangement to assist Mr. Ojukwu in the purchase of a jet aircraft.
  3. He said he had since changed his mind about that.
  4. On August 9, 1967, he was at Benin with Lt. Col. Banjo and agreed to help in the overthrow of the Western State Government and subsequently the Federal Government.
  5. Since that day he had been involved in espionage activities for the rebels.

Chief Enahoro told newsmen that contrary to reports in some foreign newspapers, Soyinka’s doctors – one of them his personal private doctor – had submitted a report that he had not been beaten as was alleged. He said his wife visited him on the previous day and spent some time with him.



Also on this day, the Federal Commissioner for External Affairs and leader of the Nigerian delegation to the current session of the United Nations general assembly, Dr. Okoi Arikpo, said in Lagos that the United States Secretary of State, Mr. Dean Rusk, had said that he was sorry for the statement credited to him that as far as the United States was concerned Nigeria was a British responsibility.

Dr. Arikpo said that the American Secretary of State expressed that regret during a discussion he had with him while attending the United Nations general assembly meeting in New York. He said Mr. Rusk told him that his views had been misrepresented and a wrong impression had been created that America regarded Nigeria as still a British colony.


Dr. Arikpo was answering questions from reporters at Lagos Airport, Ikeja, shortly after his arrival from New York where he led Nigeria’s delegation to the United Nations general assembly meeting.




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