Soyinka caught in crossfire over disputed Nigerian polls outcome
By John Eche
Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has been caught in the crossfire that has greeted Nigeria’s February 25 presidential polls which the Independent National Electoral Commission had declared was won by former Lagos Governor and Candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Tinubu, who had jetted out of the country shortly after the polls outcome was declared, is expected to respond to petitions raised by his principal challengers in the contest, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP.
Soyinka had riled supporters of Obi when he excoriated Obi’s running mate, Datti Ahmed, and supporters of Obi, who have since come to be tagged, Obidients, as being uncouth, unruly and fascistic, a charge that several other commentators have described as one-sided given the field evidence that supporters of all the main candidates have indeed been taking potshots at each other.
Things got to a head when Soyinka openly challenged Ahmed to join him in a live presidential debate but the latter has declined, rather urging the Nobel laureate to encourage Tinubu himself to come out for debates with the opposition which the latter had shunned in the build-up to the elections itself.
Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka