Soyinka and Obidients' War of Words Brews On, as Nobel Laureate Challenges Datti to Debate
- Professor Wole Soyinka is not letting his guard down in his heated exchange with the supporters of Peter Obi, known as Obidients
- He described Obidients as the vilest and most repulsive supporters he has ever seen in his statement titled Fascism on Course
- Soyinka, however, condemned the fine of N5 million slammed on Channels TV for their interview with Yusuf Baba-Datti
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Legendary playwright Professor Wole Soyinka has hit back at supporters of Peter Obi for criticising his comments during an interview on Channels TV, where he described the Obidient movement as one of the most repulsive, off-putting concoctions he ever encountered in any political arena.
As reported by PM News, Soyinka’s remark was in reaction to the backlash he faced for criticising the comments of the Labour Party’s vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed.
The 1986 Nobel Laureate, in a statement issued on Friday, April 7, said:
“By the way, I do agree with Seun Kuti; ‘Obidients’ is one of the most repulsive, off-putting concoctions I ever encountered in any political arena.
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“Some love it, however, and this is what freedom is about. Choice. Taste. Free emotions. By contrast, I have no quarrel with “Yes Daddy”. Roman Catholics are used to saying “Yes, Father”. Secularists say “Enh, Baba”. The context and content are what matters, and lies – where established – raise bothersome issues such as Integrity Deficiency.”
Datti's interview sparked outrage after stating that Nigeria had no president-elect despite INEC's declaration.
His comment attracted a fine of N5 million from the TV station that aired the interview.
Meanwhile, Soyinka hit out at the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) for rolling out the fine.
Soyinka said he saw the interview and noticed that the anchor tried to checkmate and refrain Datti from making such comments.
As reported by Daily Trust, he said:
"I fail to understand just where the station could be faulted, except from a disposition for injustice.
"To sustain that penalty is to give joy to others who turn Internet into a soakaway for their rancid emissions, yet feel that others should be silenced."
Soyinka offers to debate Datti
However, Soyinka stated that he would be willing to offer himself for an open live debate with the Labour Party vice presidential candidate.
The Nobel Laureate said:
"If CHANNELS feels up to it, I offer myself willing to engage Mr. Datti – or any nominee of his – on its platform on this very bone of contention – one-on-one – without the malodorous intervention of media trolls, and with the same interviewer as mediator. That should be taken as a serious offer."
Soyinka advices Peter Obi, Tinubu, Atiku on what to do about their spokespersons
Meanwhile, the top contenders in the just-concluded 2023 presidential election have been urged to send their spokespersons on vacation.
The call was made to the 2023 presidential candidates by the literary icon, Wole Soyinka.
According to Soyinka, he was disappointed by some of the utterances by their spokespersons in the heat of the ethnic crisis between Igbos and Yorubas in Lagos state.