LP Challenges Soyinka Comments on Election Results Questions His Stance on Electoral Integrity1

LP Challenges Soyinka’s Comments on Election Results, Questions His Stance on Electoral Integrity

The Labour Party (LP) has taken a strong stance against Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, accusing him of “exhibiting dual character” following his recent comments on the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and the controversial 2023 presidential election results.

In a statement released on Thursday by the LP’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, the party expressed its disagreement with Mr. Soyinka’s opinions and prognosis regarding the party’s performance in the 2023 general elections. The LP emphasized its commitment to respecting the judiciary’s role in the election dispute and pledged to withhold further comments until the Supreme Court delivers a final verdict.

The LP’s response comes in the wake of Wole Soyinka’s statements during an event titled “The Lives of Wole Soyinka – A Dialogue” held in South Africa. During the discussion, Soyinka accused the LP leadership of attempting to propagate false information about the election results, particularly in relation to Peter Obi’s alleged victory.

LP Challenges Soyinka Comments on Election Results Questions His Stance on Electoral Integrity

In their statement, the LP acknowledged Wole Soyinka’s impressive literary achievements and his esteemed status in Nigeria but questioned his recent comments. They suggested that Soyinka may have been influenced by individuals who share a particular sentiment and emphasized that they have evidence to support their claims.

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The LP criticized Soyinka’s failure to address alleged irregularities in the electoral process, such as non-compliance with constitutional rules and the controversial transmission of presidential results. They also pointed out that the Nobel laureate did not condemn the various incidents of violence and voter intimidation that occurred during the election.

In their concluding remarks, the LP expressed disappointment in Soyinka’s apparent deviation from a statesman-like stance, raising concerns that he might be influenced by chauvinistic tendencies. They urged him to exercise caution and not exhibit a dual character in addressing the election controversy.

The LP concluded by reaffirming their commitment to building a “New Nigeria” and asserted that Nigerian youths would continue their efforts until their dream for a better nation is realized.

The controversy surrounding the 2023 presidential election and Wole Soyinka’s comments continues to be a subject of national debate, with the LP and other political stakeholders awaiting the Supreme Court’s final decision.

The statement read: “The Labour Party took note of the statement that emanated from the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka who as an institution, we have the utmost respect for. He is a Nigerian whose accomplishments in the literary world is without doubt intimidating. However, we beg to disagree with his prognosis and personal opinion on the performance of our party during the 2023 general elections.

“The facts are before the courts, and out of respect for our judiciary, we will reserve our comments until the Supreme Court makes a final pronouncement. We understand that the literary giant is human and thus susceptible to emotions, and probably said what he said based on information made available to him by those who share the ‘Emilokan sentiment’.

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“In Yoruba, ‘Gbajue’ refers to fraudulent activities like age, name, or certificate forgery, 419, or narcotics trafficking, all of which are issues in the 2023 elections but not on the Labour Party’s part. ‘Gbajue’ in Yoruba also literally means ‘slap him/her in the face.’ Have all Nigerians not been slapped sufficiently in the face? Thanks to this man of letters for bringing this out, albeit indirectly.

“It’s rather interesting that the erudite Prof. Soyinka who owned up to having an electoral “monitoring unit” conveniently glossed over INEC’s legerdemain leading to substantial non compliance and erosion of constitutional dictates, just as he conveniently glossed over the INEC’s advanced ‘gbajue’ of 25 February that has surreptitiously installed the King of ‘gbajue’ in Aso Rock. It is most befudling as well as disconcerting that a detribalised and activist Soyinka would succumb to the group think syndrome that subscribes to State Capture by those belonging to the criminal fringe by any means, based on primordial considerations.

“We really appreciate him for at least giving some credits to Labour Party and its Presidential candidate for breaking the monopoly of power hitherto held by the two other parties. We also noted his admission of his willingness to be part of a demonstration which would be based on the banner of truth. However we are aware that Soyinka resides in Lagos state and he was in Nigeria in February 25 when elections held in Nigeria.

“He watched probably with a glee when a certain individual in Lagos warned non-indigenes to vote a particular political party or risk being deported to their place of birth, and he never condemned it. He was there were ballot boxes were snatched by thugs in a polling booth right in front of his house, he didn’t condemned it. We are still looking for where he came out to condemn the unprovoked attacks on our supporters in Lagos by members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, during the last elections.

“The whole world followed the 2023 general election in Nigeria and there was a global condemnation of not only the outcome of the election but also the process, particularly, the ‘glitching’ incidence that occured only during the transmission of presidential result to IREV. As someone who is known to demonstrate based on truth, we didn’t hear as much as a whisper from Kongi reminding INEC that stand by its word.

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“He also watched when Labour Party provided evidences of several defaced result sheets permitted and uploaded to the IREV by INEC particularly in places where Labour Party won, again the great Soyinka was astonishingly mute.

“We will not allege selective amnesia as the reason for Soyinka’s wrong prognosis but we would have expected him to be a statesman which we thought he was by remaining on the side of caution and not exhibiting dual character of someone who may be blinded by some chauvinistic tendencies. We would rather keep our impression about his recent dual personality with us. We want to also let him know that building a New Nigeria is a dream which time has come and Nigerian youths will not relent until such dream is realized