Nobel laurel, Prof. Wole Soyinka yesterday said the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Peter Obi, voluntarily contributed to the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the recent general election.
Soyinka insisted that the outcome of the election was a reflection of what would happen when a political party splits in two, especially very close to an election, apparently referring to how Atiku and Obi split the PDP on which they jointly contested the 2019 presidential election.
He made this claim in a statement he released from Stellenbosch, South Africa following the condemnations that trailed his earlier view about the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.
The statement entitled: ‘The Cape Town Re-entry,’ explained how Atiku and Obi jointly contributed to the victory of President Tinubu in the last presidential contest.
Soyinka had, in a video that went viral last Thursday, claimed that the leadership of the LP knew that Obi, its presidential candidate in the February 25, 2023 presidential election, lost the contest.
Soyinka’s claim elicited protracted criticisms from the leadership of the LP and Obidient Movement, a generation of young Nigerians who backed Obi’s presidential bid.
In his statement yesterday, Soyinka described the 2023 presidential poll “as a feast of voluntary donation of the spoils of war.”
He said: “The mistake we all continue to make is our insistence on regarding the recent Nigerian elections as an adversarial thriller. The contrary is the truth.”
He argued that the ballot tally accurately reflected “what happens when a political 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,” the playwright wrote in his three-paragraph statement.
Soyinka further stated that the last decision concerning the contested outcome of the presidential election “belongs to the Supreme Court.
“Until that conclusive hour, wherever and whenever the subject turns to the Nigerian elections, my contribution 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 voting. Let politicians and their cohorts learn to take responsibility for the consequences of their choices within democratic options.”
He also warned political actors, who suffered defeat during the 2023 general election, against calling for military interference, as currently manifested in some countries in Central and West Africa.
He said: “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 unambiguous, 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 precisely that of arms,” Soyinka further expressed grave concern about the future of Nigeria’s democracy