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April 10, 2023

Datti: Free Nigeria Movement accuses Soyinka of selective witch-hunt

Prof Wole Soyinka places $1,000 bounty on source of fake news against him

Professor Wole Soyinka

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

The Free Nigeria Movement has launched a scathing attack on Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, accusing him of pursuing a selective witch-hunt instead of focusing on the real issues surrounding the 2023 elections.

Soyinka had spoken against the 2023 Labour Party (LP) vice presidential candidate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed’s insistence that President-elect, Bola Tinubu, should not be sworn in on May 29, 2023.

He described Baba-Ahmed’s remarks as a “kind of do-or-die attitude and provocation” that goes contrary to democratic disposition.

But, speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, Dr Moses Paul, representing the group, accused Soyinka of standing with oppressors in a burning house, while enjoying a rat chase.

The group called for a boycott of Soyinka’s literary works, articles, events, and public engagements that celebrate his achievements.

The movement also urged Nigerians to focus on the pressing issues facing the country and not be distracted by Soyinka’s actions.

“While we do not frown at his remarks because of any politicians, political parties or movements referenced, we do so because of his emotionless detour from the real issues of the election to pursue what appears as a selective witch-hunt.

“It is on record that Prof. Wole Soyinka never condemned the shameless episode of ethnic profiling, instigation and hate speech by elements such as Musiliu Akinsanya (a.k.a MC Oluomo), Bayo Onanuga, Femi Fani–Kayode, and a host of other atrocious persons. Or are their actions not fascist?

“The Prof. should be a father to all Nigerians irrespective of ethnicity, religion, party or social affiliations. However, he has betrayed the trust of many Nigerians who before now hold him in high esteem.

“We, therefore, call for the boycott of his books, articles, events and all public engagements that celebrate his literary achievements,” Paul said

He also said that the group would continue to maintain a non-violent stance in their quest to seek redress for several other demands which include: the sack, arrest, and prosecution of Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu who is the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); the cancellation of the presidential election of 25th February, 2023; the compensation of all victims of electoral violence, and the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Committee in Lagos and other flashpoints of violence.

Meanwhile, the Free Nigeria Movement had been at the forefront of advocating for electoral reforms in Nigeria, and was actively engaged in campaigns and protests to draw attention to the need for change.

Recently, it garnered widespread support from Nigerians, who are tired of the violence and irregularities that characterized the country’s 2023 elections.