Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has accused the leadership of the Labour Party (LP) of knowingly attempting to impose a “lie” on Nigerians, especially the youth, by insisting that its Presidential Candidate Peter Obi had won the February 25 presidential election despite knowing he lost.
The Nobel laureate made these remarks on Wednesday, during an event titled “The Lives of Wole Soyinka — A Dialogue,” which was organized by Africa in the World in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
During the event, Soyinka was asked about his previous comment regarding Datti Baba-Ahmed, LP’s vice-presidential candidate, after the general election.
According to him, Obi had achieved something significant by breaking the power monopoly established by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He however added that in the election, Peter Obi’s party came in third place, not even second, and the LP leadership was aware of this but attempted to promote falsehoods.
Soyinka emphasized the importance of truth and the need to rely on facts, rather than “third-hand information.”
He recounted an incident from 1965 when he invaded a radio station in Ibadan, stating that he had concrete evidence and did not rely on hearsay about the 1965 regional election results.
Soyinka accused the LP of taking control of the organized labour movement in the lead-up to the 2023 election.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Soyinka also alleged that the LP leadership attempted to mobilise young people to protest against the outcome of the election on the “banner of lies and deceit”.
“They were going to send some of the hardliners, proud young people into the street to demonstrate,” he said.
“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 find 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.”