Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, said people who were calling for an interim government after the 2023 presidential election were determined to allow history repeat itself.
He made the remarks yesterday during an interview on Channels Television
Commenting on the remarks by the vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 election, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, Soyinka said it was “a disgraceful interview.”
After the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, was announced as winner of the election, Baba-Ahmed had said the country had no president-elect yet
He said Tinubu would be leading an unconstitutional government if he was sworn in because he did not meet the requirements of the law.
The Nobel laureate criticised the comment, saying at that time, the contest was no longer for democracy but an individual contest for power.
“I am alleging that there was a conspiracy from the very beginning before the election to make sure the elections did not take place, or that even if the voting did take place, that everything be reverted to what happened under Ibrahim Babangida when we all just woke up and discovered that even though the results have been calculated, and were in possession of international bodies, including monitoring embassies and so on, it was suddenly annulled.
“History was about to repeat itself; some people were determined to take us back to those days.
“So, for me, it was no longer a contest between individuals; it was now a contest between the so-called interim political party and democracy.
“When you have a binary like that, I have no doubt or hesitation about what side of the barricade my position should be,” he said.
Soyinka also described Baba-Ahmed’s interview as menacing. He said: “At that interview by Datti, that disgraceful and menacing interview, was for me the ultimate signal because this was somebody calling for the rubbishing of a structure he profited to ever become a governor. I am talking about Peter Obi. Even before the tribunal had said…, this spokesperson, in this case, Datti, came on the television to threaten everyone if his interpretation of the results was not upheld.
“This, for me, was amoral, politically and socially amoral. It was playing into a certain script, even if they didn’t know it. Sometimes, democracy leaves the stage for an individual contest for power and then, commences its own struggle for existence or actualisation.”