- Professor Wole Soyinka has finally stated his position on the candidacy of Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima
- Knowing that both are of the same religious faith, the playwright says he has no issue with both of them being Muslims
- But, he, however, stated that so long the both of them have the capacity required to lead the nation, the it is not a problem
Winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature, Prof Wole Soyinka has given his submission concerning the candidacy of APC’s presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima (His running mate).
The renowned playwright during an interview on Channels Television’s NewsNight on Monday, August 22 said he does not care if the president and his vice is of the Muslim fate so long they have the capabilities to unite the country.
“I don’t give a dam* if the president, the vice-President, the speaker, etc all come from the same village, they have the same religion, they belong to the same tribe.”
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Recall that there have been a series of outrage and controversies laced around the decision of the ruling All Progressive Congress to settle for a Muslim-Muslim candidate as its flag bearer heading into the 2023 polls.
The decision has since caused a divide within the APC, religious bodies, and other prominent stakeholders.
While speaking on the controversies trailing APC's decision for the same-religion faith as flag bearers, Soyinka said:
“If, however, it is transparently, absolutely, unarguable that is a kind of genius breed that has been donated to the nation and to the world.
"As long as the capability of the individuals who are into governance is proven, and it is quite clear that there is no alternative, that is my position.”
He, however, stated that the same faith ticket is not a shortcoming in other climes and that Nigeria is just in the phase of trying out such norms.
He added that political leaders should have been sensitive to the peculiarity of the Nigerian society in taking a decision on the candidates of the party.
“We're talking about a society which is normal, where situations are normal. Is this society normal? Even the military seems to recognize the need to express the plurality, not only of ethnic groups or faith in their governance.
“We are in the midst of a crisis with faiths of distrust - ethnic distrust, religious distrust, class distrust and anything which can be done or any action which can be avoided so that this kind of distrust is not exacerbated, I think politicians should seize the opportunity of not exacerbating the debate.”
"Nigeria should learn from Lebanon", says Soyinka
According to him, the campaigners for a same-faith ticket should be “very sensitive to the very peculiar circumstances of Nigeria” and explore alternatives that have been working for the country.
He further stated that Nigeria was too diversified for the APC not to be sensitive enough to recognise certain peculiarities in order to avoid unnecessary controversies.
Soyinka said Nigeria is facing a crisis of faith, ethnic distrust and class distrust and politicians should seize the opportunity not to exacerbate the situation but to learn from countries like Lebanon that learnt from their civil war and unanimously agreed on zones to produce government officials.
Soyinka queries FG’s handling of farmer-herder crisis
The Nigerian literary icon, while stating his position on the Farner-Herder crisis, noted that the federal government's way of handling the matter is troubling.
According to Soyinka, if the government can tag IPOB as a terrorist group, what stops them from tagging the Miyetti Allah too.
Soyinka drops bombshell over lawmakers' move for Buhari's impeachment
Meanwhile, the 88-year-old Nobel laureate has joined lawmakers in the National Assembly to call for the impeachment of the president.
To the playwright, President Buhari has at many times broken the contract of democracy that was handed to him.
Soyinka confirmed that once the contract of democracy is broken by a leader, an impeachment process is in order.