THE Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, today, accused the Labour Party of trying to force “a lie” on Nigerians on the outcome of the February 25 election.
The playwright, who spoke at an event titled: “The Lives of Wole Soyinka — A Dialogue” organised by Africa in the World in South Africa, said the LP leaders knew that the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, lost the election but were determined to force lies down the throats of Nigerians that he was rigged out of the process by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Nobel Laureate had in March disagreed with the comment credited to the LP vice-presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, shortly after INEC declared President Bola Tinubu as the winner of the election.
Baba-Ahmed in a programme on Channels Television asked former President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Kayode Ariwoola, to stay away from the May 29 handover ceremony because of the poor conduct of the election by INEC.
The party has vowed to take its opposition to the outcome of the election to the Supreme Court following the dismissal of its petition by the presidential election petition tribunal last week.
At Wednesday’s event, Soyinka lamented that the LP leadership had been trying to mobilise young people in the country to protest against the outcome of the election on the “banner of lies and deceit.”
Although the playwright accused the party of taking over the organised labour movement before the election, however, he commended Obi for breaking the dominance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said: “This recent election – two things happened first of all. One party took over the labour movement, which is not my favourite movement, and then it became a regional party.
“Whereas it was a marvellous breach into the established two camps, Peter Obi achieved something remarkable there, that he broke that mould. However, he did not win the election.
“I can say categorically that Peter Obi’s party came third not even second and the leadership knew it but they want to do what we call in Yoruba ‘gbajue’, that is a force of lies.
“They were going to send some of the hardliners, proud young people into the street to demonstrate.
“I’m also ready to be among such demonstrators but only on the banner of truth not on lies, and deceit.
“This party wanted a demonstration to happen on the basis of a lie and we find this vice-presidential candidate on television boasting, insisting, threatening and trying to intimidate both the judiciary and the rest.
“What kind of government will result from that kind of conduct? In addition, they did not know this but they were being used.
“Before the election, there were certain clandestine forces, including some ex-generals, who were already calling for an interim government before the elections began.”