Obiora Ifoh, the National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party (LP), expressed strong disapproval of Wole Soyinka’s recent statement, which was surprising given Soyinka’s reputation as a “detribalized” statesman.
This protest stems from comments made by Soyinka during an event called “The Lives of Wole Soyinka — A Dialogue,” held in Stellenbosch, South Africa. During the event, Soyinka asserted that the Labour Party leadership was aware that Peter Obi had finished third in the election but insisted on spreading falsehoods, particularly among the younger population.
After the general election, Soyinka was further questioned about his comments regarding LP’s vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed. He reaffirmed his commitment to the truth, but this stance did not sit well with Peter Obi and the Labour Party.
In response, the LP’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, issued a statement in Abuja, expressing disappointment in Soyinka’s remarks, especially considering his esteemed status as a “detribalized” statesman. Ifoh also pointed out the dangers of succumbing to the “groupthink syndrome,” where decisions are made without critical reasoning or evaluation of consequences, based on primordial considerations. Despite their disagreement, Ifoh acknowledged Soyinka’s right to his opinion and expressed hope that the Supreme Court would make a final judgment regarding the election results.
Furthermore, Ifoh criticized Soyinka for not condemning irregularities in the lead-up to the election and the Independent National Electoral Commission’s poor performance. He noted that the world had witnessed global condemnation of the election’s outcome and process, but Soyinka remained silent on these matters. Despite these disagreements, Ifoh emphasized that Soyinka, as a Nigerian, is entitled to his opinions and urged him to support the dream of building a New Nigeria, a cause championed by Nigerian youth.