Soyinka Trade Words Over Labour Party’s Defeat In 2023 Polls
Prof. Wole Soyinka, the laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the Nigeria Labour Party (LP) have different opinions on the party’s performance in the 2023 presidential election.
NewsReport Nigweria reports that in a statement by Soyinka to the LP, he said the party knew it came third in the election and didn’t win, but still maintained to their supporters that they won the election. But the LP, while disputing Soyinka’s claim, said it understands that the literary giant is human and susceptible to emotions, adding that he probably spoke based on information made available to him by those who share the ‘Emilokan sentiment’.
Soyinka had, while speaking at an event “The Lives of Wole Soyinka — A Dialogue’’ in Stellenbosch, South Africa, accused the leadership of the LP of trying to force “a lie” on Nigerians, especially youths, that Obi won the election.
He added that he armed himself with facts when he invaded a radio station in Ibadan in 1965 and not the kind of Labour Party claim.
“This recent election – two things happened first of all. One party took over the labour movement, which is not my favourite movement, and then it became a regional party,” Soyinka was quoted as saying.
Miffed by Soyinka’s comment, the Labour Party said statesmen are not known to be double faced and blind to the truth.
“However we are aware that Soyinka resides in Lagos state and he was in Nigeria on February 25 when elections were held in Nigeria. He watched probably with a glee when a certain individual in Lagos warned non-indigenes to vote a particular political party or risk being deported to their place of birth, and he never condemned it. There were ballot boxes that were snatched by thugs in a polling booth right in front of his house, he didn’t condemn it. We are still looking for where he came out to condemn the unprovoked attacks on our supporters in Lagos by members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, during the last elections,” LP said.
The party insisted that 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 occured only during the transmission of presidential result to IREV.
“As someone who is known to demonstrate based on truth, we didn’t hear as much as a whisper from Kongi reminding INEC to stand by its word.
He also watched when the Labour Party provided evidence of several defaced result sheets permitted and uploaded to the IREV by INEC particularly in places where the Labour Party won, again the great Soyinka was astonishingly mute.
“We will not allege selective amnesia as the reason for Soyinka’s wrong prognosis but we would have expected him to be a statesman which we thought he was by remaining on the side of caution and not exhibiting dual character of someone who may be blinded by some chauvinistic tendencies.
“We would rather keep our impression about his recent dual personality with us. We want to also let him know that building a New Nigeria is a dream which time has come and Nigerian youths will not relent until such a dream is realized,” the party added.