3rd February, 2019
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka on Sunday debunked claim that he is a member of any convener’s council or Third Force.
One of the dailies had reported that Soyinka is a member of the Alliance for the Defence of Democracy, ADD, aimed at identifying a consensus candidate for the forthcoming presidential election.
Soyinka, in a statement issued on Sunday said “neither did I attend the meeting that took place at Sheraton Hotel on Thursday, January 31, 2019. I, therefore, could not have been part of whatever resolutions were agreed upon at that meeting.
“I was invited, but I did not attend. I must state however that I fully endorse, and have encouraged the efforts of ADD and of other similarly motivated groups to identify a candidate to take the battle to the two parties currently monopolizing the political space and throw up a viable challenger for the occupancy of Aso Rock.
“Indeed, at the meeting convened by Citizen Forum at Freedom Park, coincidentally on that very day and time – I took pains to inform my audience of the ongoing meeting of the ADD, and its commendable purpose. I also mentioned the meeting of yet another group in Abuja which had been holding for over two days. I am not a member of any Conveners’ Council or Third Force,” he said.
Soyinka stated that there is cooperation among several groups and individuals on various levels, but that it was essential to clarify that his interventionist role was clarified so as not to compromise his own objective preferences which would be made only after Citizen Forum had concluded its own line of inquiry and guided itself accordingly.
“We are all collaborating, monitoring and collating preferences, acting in the same cause, aspiring to a creative and effective convergence, but in full respect for the independence of action of the various groupings,” he said.