Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has accused the Labour Party of attempting to deceive Nigerians about the outcome of the February 25 election outcome.
Soyinka made this declaration on Wednesday, during an event titled, “The Lives of Wole Soyinka — A Dialogue”, organised by ‘Africa in the World’, in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
He said the leadership of the party were aware that their presidential candidate, Peter Obi, did not win the election but were trying to force “a lie” on Nigerians, especially youths, that Obi won the election.
When asked to comment on his previous statement on the LP vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, after the general election, Soyinka said he was committed to the truth.
He said in 1965, when he stormed a radio station in Ibadan, he was armed with facts and not relying on third-hand accounts regarding the 1965 regional election.
He further accused the LP of infiltrating the organised labour movement in the build-up to the 2023 elections.
He also stated that Obi achieved “something remarkable” by breaking the monopoly of power established by the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party.
“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, force of lies,” he said.
The Nobel laureate also accused the LP leadership of attempting to mobilise young people to protest against the outcome of the election on the “banner of lies and deceit.”
He said, “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 the same thing (referring to 2011 post-election violence) to happen on the basis of a lie and we found this vice-presidential candidate on television boasting, insisting, threatening and trying to intimidate both the judiciary and the rest.
“What kind of government will result from that kind of conduct? In addition, they did not know this but they were being used.
“Before the election, there were certain clandestine forces, including some ex-generals, who were already calling for an interim government before the elections began.
“Some of them were known figures, including a proprietor of a university calling for an interim government before the election took place.”
Recall that in March, there was a dispute between Soyinka and the LP regarding statements made by Baba-Ahmed regarding the presidential election’s outcome.
On March 22, during an interview with Channels TV, Baba-Ahmed said the nation did not have a President-elect, even though the Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Bola Tinubu, the APC’s candidate, as the winner of the election.
Baba-Ahmed stated that Tinubu should not be inaugurated as President because he allegedly did not meet the legal requirements.
In his response to the comment, Soyinka said the LP vice-presidential candidate’s words contained “fascistic language” and that he had “never heard anyone threaten the judiciary on television the way Datti did.”