The Labour Party’s leadership has criticized Wole Soyinka, a Nobel laureate, for suggesting that the opposition party tried to deceive Nigerians by asserting that their presidential candidate, Peter Obi, emerged victorious in the February 25 elections.
This response follows Soyinka’s statement made during an event in Stellenbosch, South Africa, called “The Lives of Wole Soyinka — A Dialogue.” The acclaimed author implied that the party knew Obi finished third, yet continued to mislead the public, particularly the younger generation.
Soyinka, when questioned about his earlier comments concerning LP’s vice-presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, post-election, stressed his commitment to honesty. The Labour Party and Obi’s team, however, were not pleased with these remarks.
In a public statement released in Abuja, LP’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, expressed his surprise that Soyinka, viewed as an impartial statesman, would make such claims. Ifoh’s statement, titled ‘Soyinka: Statesmen are not double-faced, not blind to truth,’ highlighted that they didn’t expect Soyinka to be influenced by biased views or avoid considering alternative perspectives.
Ifoh mentioned, “Although Prof. Wole Soyinka’s literary achievements are commendable, we respectfully disagree with his assessment of our party’s performance in the 2023 elections. The details are currently under legal examination, and we will withhold further comments pending the Supreme Court’s final decision.”
Ifoh emphasized that they appreciate Soyinka’s recognition of the Labour Party’s efforts in challenging the dominant parties’ power monopoly. Still, they had hoped Soyinka would point out some irregularities observed during the recent elections, especially issues associated with the Independent National Electoral Commission.
In conclusion, Ifoh stated that while Soyinka is entitled to his views, the aspiration for a better Nigeria remains a fervent dream for the nation’s youth.