Soyinka Asks Obasanjo to Stop His ‘Hijacking Propensity’

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    • Debunks defection comments

    Yinka Olatunbosun

    The Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has urged former President Olusegun Obasanjo to keep away from movements struggling to restore Nigeria to the path of sanity and end his “hijacking propensity.”

    Soyinka has also denied comments credited to him on the current defections by the members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

    He made his position known Thursday at the launch of his book, ‘Interventions’ VIII’ published by Book Craft.

    “The business of fake news is becoming very alarming. The unscrupulous attachment of one’s name with something which I had never said or even thought and the brazen imposition of one’s identity on such outpouring is so canning, so dishonest. It is disgusting and cowardly. I want the press to be very alert to this and sensitise the public on such materials the way banks do. They should check any information properly before they make an industry out of total lies,’’ Soyinka said.

    The Intervention series project is a literary response to the widely distributed three-volume book written by Nigeria’s former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo titled: My Watch.

    The author made several scathing comments on Obasanjo’s political persona with claims of proof of evidence.

    In his message to Obasanjo, Soyinka cautioned him against associating with the new crop of Nigerians who seemed genuinely interested in provoking progressive ideas for nation-building. “I have only one demand: Keep away from movements struggling to restore this country to the path of sanity and even moderate rectitude. End your hijacking propensity,’’ he said.

    In his submission, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), promised to defend the author of this book against legal action that the content of the book may provoke.

    While reaction to the spate of defection in the political climate, he cited the constitution as the authentic legal framework for assessing the merit of these defections.

    “On the issue of defection, under section 68 of the 1979 and 1999 constitution, a legislator can only decamp to another party on the grounds that if your political party is in trouble and is factionalised into major divisions, you can cross carpet but not on divisions instigated for the purpose of exiting.

    “You are shortchanging the electorate if you do not want to continue on that same platform that brought you in; you must go and receive a fresh mandate under the platform of your new party. There will be two congresses that will produce two chairmen, there will be state executive, national executive involved, you don’t just address a press conference and give a statement that you have defected,” Falana said.