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Atiku, Obi contesting in separate parties gave Tinubu victory – Soyinka

a prof wole soyinka

Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has said the electoral victory of President Bola Tinubu was aided by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, who parted ways with his erstwhile colleague, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.

The Nobel Laureate said this, according to a statement on Saturday, during a dialogue organised by ‘Africa in the World,’ in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

According to the statement, Soyinka urged politicians to learn to take responsibility for the consequences of their choices.

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. 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. 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.

“Barring such abrupt ‘patriotic intervention,’ however, the last word 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.”

During his speech at the event on Wednesday, the Nobel Laureate had accused the Labour Party of attempting to deceive Nigerians about the outcome of the February 25 election.

Meanwhile, the National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Abayomi Arabambi, has said Soyinka’s recent disclosure that Obi never won the election was nothing but the obvious truth that resonates with Nigerians.

Arabambi added that the party saw the reaction of its factional Chairman, Julius Abure, through his personal media aide, Mr Obiorah Ifoh, to Soyinka’s statement as nothing but an “affront and abuse from a rude boy to his grandfather.”

In a statement made available to the Sunday PUNCH, Arabambi said, “As a party, we knew that Professor Wole Soyinka was right in his submission because how does anyone claim to have won an election based solely on pejoratives, assumption, vague rhetoric and zero evidence pointing to such being the case?

“It was all on the expectation that the actual winner would be disqualified and by some stroke of black magic, the candidate in the third place will suddenly be declared winner without any proof of having scored the majority vote is absolute judicial madness on display by Peter Obi, Julius Abure and their blind allies.

“We know we lost that election, it was true Obi and Abure wanted to do gbajue because ab initio, even when the presidential campaign council was formed in the north, Peter Obi used Igbo as state coordinators while a northerner remained their deputy.”