‘Selective witch-hunt’ — group tackles Soyinka over comments on Datti
A group known as Free Nigeria Movement (FNM) says Wole
Soyinka has “betrayed” the trust of Nigerians.
The group was reacting to the recent comments by the Nobel
Last Wednesday, while speaking in an interview on Arise TV,
Soyinka said the demand by Datti Baba-Ahmed, vice-presidential candidate of the
Labour Party (LP), that Bola Tinubu, President-elect, should not be sworn in,
was a “fascist language”.
In March, Baba-Ahmed had said the country has no
president-elect and that Tinubu would be leading an unconstitutional government
if sworn into office because the APC candidate “has not met requirements of the
Soyinka said Baba-Ahmed’s remarks were a “kind of do-or-die
attitude and provocation” that were contrary to democratic disposition.
Addressing a media conference on Monday, Moses Paul,
convener of FNM, said Soyinka should have addressed the “real issues” about the
“The recent comments by Wole Soyinka are most unfortunate
and regrettable,” Paul said.
“While we do not
frown at his remarks because of any politicians, political parties, or
movements referenced, we do so because of his emotionless detour from the real
issues of the election to pursue what appears as a selective witch-hunt.
“It is on record that Wole Soyinka never condemned the
shameless episode of ethnic profiling, instigation, and hate speech by elements
such as Musiliu Akinsanya (a.k.a MC Oluomo), Bayo Ononuga, Femi Fani – Kayode,
and a host of other atrocious persons. Or are their actions not fascist?
“Nor did he condemn Mahmoud Yakubu’s insistence on flouting
INEC’s guidelines, the electoral act, and his rush to declare a winner. It is
sad that when it mattered that the voice of our dear prof (Soyinka) whose books
and thoughts formed the base of academic pursuit by some should breathe reason
on the polity, he chose to stand with the oppressor in a burning house enjoying
a rat chase.”
The group said Soyinka should be a father to all Nigerians
irrespective of ethnicity, religion, party, or social affiliations.
“However, he has betrayed the trust of many Nigerians who
before now hold him in high esteem. We, therefore, call for the boycott of his
books, articles, events, and all public engagements that celebrate his literary
achievements which as of today do not recognize the well-being of the ordinary
Nigerian. We need role models and not sell-outs.”
The group also said the presidential election was
compromised because it did not reflect the wishes of Nigerians.
“Hardly can any Nigerian alive deny that the outcome of the
presidential election did not represent the will of the Nigerian people or
amount to an abuse of their suffrage,” the group said.
“We all know the truth. But why are we not saying a thing
about it? What most Nigerians do not understand is that the people perpetrating
this evil against our country are deliberate and desperate. Their path is laid
before them and power is their ultimate source of livelihood.”
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