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September 17, 2023

2023: Atiku, Peter Obi gave victory as donation to Tinubu – Soyinka

Soyinka challenges critics disputing his academic records to provide evidence in 30 days

Professor Wole Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka has said Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi willingly donated victory to President Bola Tinubu at the 2023 presidential election.

Soyinka said Atiku and Obi made this happen as they contested the election separately under the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party respectively.

The literary icon also dismissed insinuations by supporters of the opposition political parties of PDP and LP that Tinubu, who contested under the All Progressives Congress, did not win.

Soyinka, in recent times has been countering the narrative that Tinubu, lost the election, a view which has gained traction in the international community.

In a statement released from Stellenbosch, South Africa on Saturday, Soyinka insisted that duo of Atiku and Obi, in actual fact propelled Tinubu to victory by running separate tickets.

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, he said, 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.”

He said the notorious Datti interview, menacing, intimidating and unambiguous, sets the scene for such re-entry.

He said, “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.”

Politicians and their cohorts, he said, should learn to take responsibility for the consequences of their choices within democratic options.

Earlier in the week, Soyinka had said he could categorically say 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 force of lies.

“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,” he said.

“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.”