Soyinka wrong, Baba-Ahmed's comment doesn't represent fascism - Chimamanda

Chimamda

Adichie and Soyinka

Novelist Chimamanda Adichie has faulted Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka that the comments made by the Labour Party’s vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed were fascist.

Adichie, in an interview on Arise TV on Tuesday night, said she still held Soyinka in high esteem and admired him, but that she disagreed with him on this particular issue about Datti.

“Because I respect Soyinka a lot, I went back and watch the interview again. I think fascism is a really strong word, which often made me think of Mussolini of Italy.We use it now. I do not see any reason Datti Baba-Ahmed’s interview would have been termed fascist.

“I think he was making a very strongly and fair point about the election and he was saying, which again, I thought is fairly reasonable, that if our democracy is rooted in the constitution and you then swear in a person who is being elected unconstitutionally, and you are in fact ending democracy.  I think it is quite a reasonable position. Of course we can argue about what that means in the constitution,” Adichie said.

“I am very grateful for this whole election period because it made me read things I probably would have, such as the Nigerian constitution and also made me have quite a few suggestions for editing. I think now we are talking about what ‘and’ mean right. So Mr. Ahmed Datti-Baba is saying that it is two-third and the FCT and that’s separate and its a reasonable argument right.

“You know ‘and’ is a conjunction and we use it in that context often to mean plural right so we say; Aisha and  Yemi are coming and we don’t say Aisha and Yemi is coming, that is because they are two separate things, two separate entities and of course the court will interpret.

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“I don’t think it unreasonable for educated Nigerians who can read, who knows what the word ‘and’ means to make their own interpretations and to argue it and of course the fact that the Labour Party  in court means that they do not believe that this election is constitutional and I didn’t quite see it should be termed fascist,” she added.

Adichie said she had suggestions for what “we could use fascist for. We could use fascist for INEC because as it is right now, many Nigerians feel cheated by INEC and deeply disfranchised by INEC and there is an authoritarianism which obviously is the basis of fascism at the center of manipulating an election because what you are doing, you are gagging people, you are forcibly taking away their voice, that is fascist.

“Fascist is all of the violence that happened  during the election. Fascist is the way some people remain silent about that violence. Fascist is a government that hasn’t come out to address the very tangible and palpable discontent in this country.

“I think that when I say that we can use fascist for INEC, what I mean is the fact that many of us, including myself are convinced that this is not in any way technological glitch. I think that Prof. Yakubu had an opportunity for heroism and I thing he wasted it spectacularly.”

 

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