Labour Party Responds to Wole Soyinka’s Election Remarks.
Abuja, Nigeria, September 15, 2023 – The Labour Party (LP) has issued a robust response to Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka’s recent remarks accusing the party of attempting to deceive Nigerians, especially young people, into believing that their presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, won the 2023 presidential election.
Dual Character Allegation
In a statement on Thursday, LP’s spokesman, Mr. Obiora Ifoh, criticized Soyinka for his comments, asserting that the Nobel Laureate had displayed a dual character that was unexpected from a highly respected and “detribalized” statesman.
Ifoh’s statement noted, “The Labour Party took note of the statement that emanated from the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who, as an institution, we have the utmost respect for. He is a Nigerian whose accomplishments in the literary world are, without doubt, intimidating.”
Reserving Comments for the Judiciary
While acknowledging Soyinka’s stature in Nigeria’s literary and intellectual landscape, Ifoh expressed disagreement with his assessment of the party’s performance in the 2023 general elections. He emphasized that the party would await the Supreme Court’s final pronouncement on the matter and respect the judiciary’s process.
“We understand that the literary giant is human and thus susceptible to emotions and probably said what he said based on information made available to him by those who share the ‘Emilokan sentiment’,” the statement added.
“Gbajue” in Yoruba also literally means ‘slap him/her in the face.’ Have all Nigerians not been slapped sufficiently in the face? Thanks to this man of letters for bringing this out albeit, advertently.
Ifoh continued, “It’s rather interesting that the erudite Prof. Soyinka, who owned up to having an electoral ‘monitoring unit,’ conveniently glossed over INEC’s legerdemain leading to substantial non-compliance and erosion of constitutional dictates, just as he conveniently glossed over the INEC’s advanced ‘gbajue’ of 25 February that has surreptitiously installed the King of ‘gbajue’ in Aso Rock.”
“Detribalized” and Activist Soyinka’s Alleged Inconsistency
The LP expressed its bewilderment and disconcertion over Soyinka’s apparent shift towards supporting state capture by those with primordial considerations. Despite acknowledging his willingness to participate in a demonstration based on the banner of truth, the LP pointed out instances during the elections when it perceived Soyinka’s silence.
“The whole world followed the 2023 general election in Nigeria and there was a global condemnation of not only the outcome of the election but also the process, particularly, the ‘glitching’ incidence that occurred only during the transmission of presidential results to IREV.”
The LP’s statement concluded by stating its expectation of a statesmanlike approach from Soyinka and urged him to refrain from exhibiting a dual character that might be influenced by chauvinistic tendencies.