Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, recently shared his insights on the Nigerian elections, highlighting the impact of the Labour Party’s division on President Bola Tinubu’s electoral victory. Speaking at a dialogue organized by ‘Africa in the World’ in South Africa, Soyinka emphasized the need for politicians to take responsibility for their choices.
Soyinka explained, “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 accurately reflected what happens when a political party splits itself in two, especially so critically close to an election.”
He further added, “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.”
Discussing the role of the Interim Peoples Party (IPP), Soyinka said, “In this case, we easily recall it as the unregistered but loudly canvassed IPP – the Interim Peoples Party, usually to be found in bed with the military.”
Soyinka stressed that the final outcome of the elections would ultimately rest with the Supreme Court, stating, “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.”
In response to Soyinka’s remarks, the Labour Party criticized him, alleging that he displayed a “dual character” and fell victim to “groupthink syndrome.” LP’s spokesperson, Obiora Ifoh, called Soyinka’s comments “disconcerting” and “befuddling” and questioned his stance on INEC’s role in the elections.
The Nigerian elections continue to be a topic of discussion, with Soyinka’s perspective shedding light on the complexities and divisions within the political landscape.