Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has unleashed a scathing revelation regarding the leadership of the Labour Party (LP) and their alleged deception about the outcome of the February 25th presidential election.
Speaking at a thought-provoking event titled “The Lives of Wole Soyinka — A Dialogue,” organized by Africa in the World, Soyinka disclosed that LP’s leadership was well aware of Peter Obi’s defeat in the said election.
The event, which took place on Wednesday in Stellenbosch, South Africa, provided an intimate setting for Soyinka to address questions about his previous comments against Datti Baba-Ahmed, LP’s vice-presidential candidate, made after the general election.
Soyinka, a relentless advocate for truth and transparency, emphasized the importance of the truth in public discourse. He cited his history of standing up for the truth, notably recalling an incident in 1965 when he stormed a radio station in Ibadan armed with factual information. He asserted that he was not relying on “third-hand information” when commenting on the 1965 regional election result.
The renowned writer accused the LP of seizing control of the organized labor movement in the lead-up to the 2023 election.
Soyinka acknowledged Peter Obi’s accomplishment in breaking the political duopoly established by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). However, he asserted that Obi did not secure victory in the election.
Soyinka stated unequivocally, “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.”
Furthermore, Soyinka alleged that the LP’s leadership had attempted to manipulate and mobilize young people to protest against the election’s outcome based on false information. He expressed his willingness to join demonstrators but only under the banner of truth, not deceit.
“This party wanted the same thing [referring to the 2011 post-election violence] to happen on the basis of a lie,” he declared, raising concerns about the potential consequences of such actions on the nation’s stability and governance.
Soyinka also claimed that the LP leadership unknowingly played into the hands of clandestine forces, including some ex-generals, who were advocating for an interim government before the election even commenced.
Notably, these voices were led by prominent figures, including a university proprietor, who publicly called for an interim government before the election occurred.
The revelation by Wole Soyinka sheds light on the intricate political landscape surrounding the 2023 Nigerian presidential election.
In March, Soyinka had previously clashed with the LP over comments made by Datti Baba-Ahmed, the party’s vice-presidential candidate, regarding the election’s outcome. Baba-Ahmed’s statements, as interpreted by Soyinka, contained “fascistic language” and posed threats to the judiciary, prompting the Nobel laureate to speak out against them.
The unfolding saga between Wole Soyinka and the Labour Party continues to captivate public attention as Nigerians await further developments in the wake of these startling revelations.