An incident narrated by business executive, Tonye Cole about how he witnessed a young Nigerian man ordering Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka off his seat on a flight has gone viral.

He wrote:

@professorwolesoyinka#celebrategreatness#relationshipsmatter met one of the greatest Nigerians walking the earth today and as with other times, he was genteel, witty, forthright and humble. My smile gives me away as he permitted the picture whereas he would have preferred to get back to his newspapers. Then we boarded the flight and after assisting him with his bags, he took the window seat and promptly started reading again. 

A few minutes later this young man, baseball cap, t-shirt to show his muscled chest and tattooed biceps boards the plane and tells Prof he is on his seat (which he was). Those of us including the cabin crew tried to reason with Bobo Fine to let the old man be but the chap refused. He insisted Prof should vacate his window seat, which the old man quietly did for his original aisle seat next to him. 

I couldn’t understand how we got to this point where we no longer have respect for elders, even if are so ignorant of the great global personalities in our midst. Is it too much to ask that an elderly man be allowed to remain in a seat allotted to you in the same business class cabin and the same row? 

Na wa o!

Mr Tonye Cole said this is an indication that our value system has been eroded and youths no longer have respect for elders. Ms Mo Abudu and Kate Henshaw commented, agreeing with him that the young man’s behaviour was unacceptable.

But a number of web users insisted the young man was right to ask Mr Soyinka to vacate his seat and wrong of the cabin crew to try to guilt trip him into giving it up.

What are your thoughts on this? Was the young man disrespectful or was he well within his rights?

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