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Soyinka: LP Leadership Knew Obi Lost 2023 Polls — But They Want To Force Lies On

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has asserted that the leadership of the Labour Party (LP) was well aware that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate, had lost the February 25 election. Soyinka has accused the opposition party’s leadership of attempting to deceive Nigerians, particularly the youth, by propagating a false narrative that Obi had won the election.

Soyinka made these remarks during an event titled “The Lives of Wole Soyinka — A Dialogue,” which was organized by Africa in the World and took place in Stellenbosch, South Africa on a Wednesday.

During the event, Soyinka was asked to respond to his previous comments regarding Datti Baba-Ahmed, the LP’s vice-presidential candidate, following the general election. Soyinka emphasized the importance of truth and factual information, contrasting it with the tendency of many to seek shortcuts.

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The Nobel laureate recalled a historic incident from 1965 when he took action, armed with facts, by invading a radio station in Ibadan. He underscored that he did not rely on third-party information concerning the outcome of the 1965 regional election.

Soyinka accused the LP of exerting influence over the organized labor movement leading up to the 2023 election. He noted that Peter Obi had accomplished something remarkable by breaking the stranglehold of power maintained by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). However, Soyinka firmly stated that Obi did not win the election, asserting that his party had come in third place, even though the leadership was aware of this fact but sought to propagate falsehoods.

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Soyinka further alleged that the LP leadership attempted to mobilize young people to protest against the election’s outcome using false information and deceit. He expressed his readiness to participate in demonstrations but only if they were based on truth, not lies and deception.

The Nobel laureate criticized the LP’s vice-presidential candidate for using what he called “fascistic language” on television and for attempting to intimidate both the judiciary and others. He questioned the potential consequences of such conduct on the future government.

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Soyinka also revealed that there were clandestine forces, including some retired generals, who were advocating for an interim government even before the election began. Some of these individuals were publicly known figures, including a university proprietor.

In March, Soyinka and the LP clashed over comments made by Datti Baba-Ahmed regarding the outcome of the presidential election. Baba-Ahmed had stated that there was no president-elect despite Bola Tinubu’s declaration as the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Soyinka criticized Baba-Ahmed’s comments, particularly his threat to the judiciary, characterizing them as “fascistic language.”

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