16th September, 2023
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka on Saturday said Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar lost the 2023 presidential election by splitting the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shortly before the election and voluntarily donated their votes to the APC.
Soyinka had said in Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday that Obi lost the presidential election and that he and Labour Party wanted to claim victory by deceit.
But Labour Party, in a statement on Thursday, accused the Nobel Laureate of exhibiting dual character.
The Peter Obi’s party said Soyinka’s statement was not expected of someone who is highly revered as a “detribalised” statesman.
However, Soyinka, in a statement on Saturday, titled: “The Cape Town Re-Entry,” said the mistake Nigerians continued to make was their insistence on regarding the recent Nigerian elections as an adversarial thriller, but said the contrary was the truth.
According to him, the ballot tally accurately reflected what happened “when a politi-cal party splits itself in two, especially so critically close to an election. What promised to be a spectacular contest is transformed into a Feast of Voluntary Donation of the spoils of war.
“That, however, is not always the ultimate destination – the re-gifting may continue, prodded by a sudden surge of regret. There remains, lurking in the background, a far more potent beneficiary.
“In this case, we easily recall it as the unregistered but loudly canvassed IPP – the Interim Peoples Party, usually to be found in bed with the military. The notorious Datti interview, menacing, intimidating and unambigu-ous, sets the scene for such re-entry.
“Then, history repeats itself over and over again, as currently manifested along the West African sub-region. The “call to arms” is made literal by those whose trade is pre-cisely that of arms.”
Soyinka stated that barring such abrupt “patriotic intervention”, however, the last word belonged to the Supreme Court.
“Until that conclusive hour, wherever and whenever the subject turns to the Nigerian elections, my contribu-tion can be taken for granted in advance: Peter Obi did not win the Nigerian 2023 elections. Jointly with his erstwhile colleague of the PDP, Abubakar Atiku, they donated the outcome, even before the vot-ing,” he stated.
The Nobel Laureate said politicians and their cohorts should learn to take responsibility for the consequences of their choices within democratic options.