‘Respect yourself’ – Soyinka asked to stay out of partisan politics


Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has been asked to stay out of partisan politics to avoid cheapening his high reputation.


Civil society organisation- Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), made the call in a statement on Thursday.

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It described as disgusting and pedestrian, the decision of foremost writer to continuously interject in political issues and to keep dabbling with unsubstantiated claims to support the alleged manipulated result of the February 25th Presidential Election.

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READ ALSO : LP leadership was aware Obi lost 2023 elections – Soyinka



“HURIWA is worried that at such an advanced stage when he ought to be a statesman, Professor Soyinka is speaking as if he is now the agent hired by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to defend the contested election result of the highly manipulated February 25th Presidential Election.


“It is despicable, reprehensible and disrespectful to the massive respect that most young people have about him going by the body of works that he has so far achieved by way of scholarship and literature.


” HURIWA condemns the statement credited to the Nobel Laureate that the Labour Party was aware that Obi did not win the February 25 election juat as the Rights group dismissed the tendency of Professor Soyinka to continuously engage in unnecessary altercation with his imaginary enemies whom he identified as OBIDIENTS or supporters of the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 poll Mr. Peter Obi.


“Soyinka stated this while speaking at the 2023 ‘Africa in the World’, which brought together the world’s most innovative thinkers and top leaders to platform invigorating ideas for fresh changes and sustainable solutions for African people.


” It started on Tuesday, September 12 and is scheduled to end on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at Stellenbosch, South Africa.


” In March, the Nobel Laureate had disagreed with the comment credited to the LP vice-presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, shortly after INEC declared President Bola Tinubu as the winner of the election.


” In a programme on Channels Television, Baba-Ahmed asked former President Muhammadu Buhari and the then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Kayode Ariwoola, to stay away from the May 29 handover ceremony because of the poor conduct of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).


“The party has vowed to take its opposition to the outcome of the election to the Supreme Court following the dismissal of its petition by the presidential election petition tribunal last week.


” At Wednesday’s event, Soyinka lamented that the LP leadership had been trying to mobilise young people in the country to protest against the outcome of the election on the “banner of lies and deceit.”


” Although the playwright accused the party of taking over the organised labour movement before the election, however, he commended Obi for breaking the dominance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),” the statement signed by HURIWA national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said.


The statement quoted Soyinka as saying : “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.


“Whereas it was a marvellous breach into the established two camps, Peter Obi achieved something remarkable there, that he broke that mould. However, he did not win the election.


“I can say categorically that Peter Obi’s party came third not even second and the leadership knew it but they want to do what we call in Yoruba ‘gbajue’, that is a force of lies.


“They were going to send some of the hardliners, proud young people into the street to demonstrate. I’m also ready to be among such demonstrators but only on the banner of truth not on lies, and deceit.


“This party wanted a demonstration to happen on the basis of a lie and we find this vice-presidential candidate on television boasting, insisting, threatening and trying to intimidate both the judiciary and the rest.”


HURIWA speaking against the backdrops of what it tagged highly biased and politically jaundiced position of Soyinka, asked him to respect his age and status and stay away from politics.


The rights group accused Soyinka of seeking to legitimise” the ridiculous and ludicrous judgment of the Presidential election petition tribunal which dismissed the petitions of both the PDP and LP challenging INEC’s return of the APC’ Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner of the highly contentious February 25th Presidential Election.


” Is Soyinka happy that we now have a President who does not know the road to both his primary and post primary schools? Is it not a shame that Wole Soyinka has become a tribal bigot to an annoying extent that he now wants to turn himself to the Supreme Court of Nigeria by reaching a determination of the appeal before the nation’s apex court by Peter Obi of the Labour party against the Tribunal’s controversial, sold and bought judgment that validated Tinubu as winner of the February 25th Presidential Election?”

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