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2023 election: Soyinka’s comment unfortunate, regrettable – Group

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2023 election: Soyinka’s comment unfortunate, regrettable – Group

A pro-democracy group, Free Nigeria Movement has berated Prof. Wole Soyinka over his recent comment on the just-concluded presidential election.

Recall that Soyinka had described Datti Baba-Ahmed, Vice-Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) as a “fascist” while reacting to the former lawmaker’s comment that the country has no president-elect despite the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announcing Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election.

The Nobel Laureate said Datti’s remarks are a “kind of do-or-die attitude and provocation” that go contrary to democratic disposition.

He added that the LP vice-presidential candidate tried to “dictate to the supreme arbiter of the nation”, adding that it was unacceptable.

Responding, the pro-democracy group described Soyinka’s comment as very regrettable and unfortunate.

Convener of the group, Moses Ogidi-Paul stated this when he led a protest to the United Nations office in Abuja over the outcome of the 2023 general elections.

The protest marked the 30th day of the group’s demonstration over the outcome of the presidential polls in March.

He said, “We cannot continue to water the lawns of emotional cannibals who rise to power on the blood of ordinary Nigerians. The recent comments by Prof. Wole Soyinka is most unfortunate and regrettable.”

He said the group did not frown at Soyinka’s remarks because of any politicians, political parties or movements referenced, but because of his “emotionless detour from the real issues of the election to pursue what appears as selective witch-hunt.”

The convener said the Nobel laureate never condemned the “shameless episode of ethnic profiling, instigation and hate speech by elements” such as Musiliu Akinsanya (aka MC Oluomo), Bayo Ononuga, Femi Fani–Kayode and a host of others, wondering if their actions are not fascist.

Ogidi-Paul said Prof. Soyinka also didn’t condemn the INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu’s insistence on flouting the electoral body’s guidelines, the Electoral Act and his rush to declare a winner.

He said Soyinka has betrayed the trust of many Nigerians who before now hold him in high esteem.

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