Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has made a firm declaration that Peter Obi of the Labour Party did not, in fact, win Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.
The statement came during Soyinka’s appearance at the “Africa in the World” event, a forum hosted in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
This event unites world thinkers and leaders to discuss transformative ideas for the African continent.
Soyinka’s Unwavering Stand on Truth
Asked by Okechukwu “Okey” Ndibe, the session’s moderator, about why he didn’t support Peter Obi’s claim of winning the election, Soyinka responded with a simple yet powerful word: “Consistency.”
The Nobel laureate has always been a man rooted in truth, as evidenced by his past actions.
He once famously stormed the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation in Ibadan in 1965, armed, to prevent broadcasting what he believed was a rigged election result.
Comparing Past and Present Elections
Soyinka elaborated on the circumstances surrounding the 1965 episode, emphasising his first-hand experience and commitment to truth.
“We had the facts on our hands,” he said, contrasting the situation with the recent 2023 election.
He criticised the current Labour Party for morphing into a regional party and diverting from its original mission.
A Third-Place Finish for Peter Obi
Soyinka stated categorically that Peter Obi’s party came in third, not even second, in the 2023 election.
“The leadership knew it,” he added, accusing them of planning to stir up public unrest based on falsehoods.
He referred to this tactic as ‘Gbajue’, using the Yoruba term which implies a ‘force of lies’.
Lessons from the Past
The literary icon also reminisced about the events following the 2011 election, warning against repeated violence that ensued after misleading claims were made.
Soyinka criticised past politicians who have incited violence and expressed his reluctance to support any cause that isn’t rooted in truth.
Soyinka’s Final Words on Leadership Conduct
Soyinka capped off his comments by questioning the quality of governance that would emerge from a party willing to rely on intimidation and false claims.
He asked, “What kind of government would result from that kind of conduct?” leaving the audience to ponder the future of leadership in Nigeria.
Prof. Patrick Lumumba, a popular Kenyan lawyer and activist, says the new wave of emigrati…