LP Faults Soyinka’s Comment On Obi


The Labour Party has faulted Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka’s comment accusing the party of attempting to deceive Nigerians into believing that its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, won the February 25 election.

The objection is coming in the wake of Soyinka’s declaration on Wednesday at an event titled ‘The Lives of Wole Soyinka — A Dialogue,’ which was held in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

The renowned writer had stressed that the Labour Party was aware that Obi came third but the leadership persisted in playing “gbajue” (to force a lie) on the people, especially the youthful population.

His utterances, however, did not sit well with the camp of Obi and high-ranking members of the Labour Party.

But in a statement on Thursday, LP’s National Publicity Secretary Obiora Ifoh accused the Nobel Laureate of exhibiting dual character. He said Soyinka’s statement was not expected of someone who is highly revered as a “detribalised” statesman.


READ ALSO: Labour Party knows Peter Obi lost – Wole Soyinka


In the release titled ‘Soyinka: Statesmen are not double-faced, not blind to the truth,’ Ifoh further stated they could not imagine that the playwright could succumb to the ‘groupthink syndrome’ based on primordial considerations.

A group think syndrome is a phenomenon that occurs when a group of individuals reaches a consensus without critical reasoning or evaluation of the consequences or alternatives.

He said, Prof. Wole Soyinka who as an institution we have the utmost respect for. He is a Nigerian whose accomplishments in the literary world is without doubt intimidating.

However, we beg to disagree with his prognosis and personal opinion on the performance of our party during the 2023 general elections. The facts are before the courts and out of respect for our judiciary, we will reserve our comments until the Supreme Court makes a final pronouncement.

We understand that the literary giant is human and thus susceptible to emotions and probably said what he said based on information made available to him by those who share the ‘Emilokan sentiment’.

“It is most befuddling as well as disconcerting that a detribalised activist like Soyinka would succumb to the ‘groupthink syndrome’ that subscribes to state capture by those belonging to the criminal fringe by any means, based on primordial considerations.

“We really appreciate him for at least giving some credit to the Labour Party and its presidential candidate for breaking the monopoly of power hitherto held by the two other parties.”

However we are aware that Soyinka resides in Lagos state and he was in Nigeria in February 25 when elections held in Nigeria. He watched probably with a glee when a certain individual in Lagos warned non-indigenes to vote a particular political party or risk being deported to their place of birth, and he never condemned it. He was there were ballot boxes were snatched by thugs in a polling booth right in front of his house, he didn’t condemned it. We are still looking for where he came out to condemn the unprovoked attacks on our supporters in Lagos by members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, during the last elections.

The whole world followed the 2023 general election in Nigeria and there was a global condemnation of not only the outcome of the election but also the process, particularly, the ‘glitching’ incidence that occurred only during the transmission of presidential result to IREV. As someone who is known to demonstrate based on truth, we didn’t hear as much as a whisper from Kongi reminding INEC to stand by its word.

“We will not allege selective amnesia as the reason for Soyinka’s wrong prognosis but we would have expected him to be a statesman, which we thought he was by remaining on the side of caution.

“We want to also let him know that building a new Nigeria is a dream whose time has come and Nigerian youths will not relent until such dream is realised,” he said.