Speaking at an event, held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Professor Wole Soyinka, a renowned literary icon and Nobel Laureate, left no room for ambiguity as he criticised the leadership of the Labour Party (LP) for what he deemed a blatant act of deception.
He asserted that LP was well aware that its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, had not emerged victorious in the February 25 election.
Soyinka, a strong advocate for truth and transparency in Nigerian politics, expressed his commitment to upholding these values. He firmly asserted that shortcuts and deception should have no place in the nation’s political landscape.
During the dialogue session, Soyinka revisited his earlier criticism of LP’s vice-presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, following the general elections. He seized the opportunity to provide insights into the political dynamics surrounding the election results.
Soyinka stated, “This recent election – two things happened first of all. One party took over the labor movement, which is not my favorite movement, and then it became a regional party. Whereas it was a marvelous breach into the established two camps, Peter Obi achieved something remarkable there, that he broke that mold. However, he did not win the election.”
He continued, “I can say categorically that Peter Obi’s party came third, not even second, and the leadership knew it, but they want to do what we call in Yoruba ‘gbajue,’ that is the force of lies.”
Soyinka went on to express his concerns about LP’s alleged attempt to mobilise young people to protest against the election results based on falsehoods and deceit. He stressed that he would only participate in such demonstrations if they were grounded in truth and not deceit.
The esteemed scholar further raised questions about the consequences of a government formed through deceptive means. He cautioned against a political environment characterised by threats and intimidation.
In addition, Soyinka revealed that even before the election took place, clandestine forces, including some former generals, had called for an interim government.