The leadership of Labour Party has chided Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, for accusing the opposition party of attempting to hoodwink Nigerians into believing that its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, won the February 25 election.
The objection is coming in the wake of Soyinka’s declaration on Wednesday at an event titled, “The Lives of Wole Soyinka — A Dialogue,” which was held in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
The renowned writer had claimed the party was aware Obi that came third but the leadership persisted on playing ‘Gbajue’ (to force a lie) on the people, especially the youthful population.
When further asked to clarify his previous statement on the LP vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, after the general election, Soyinka reiterated that he was committed to the truth.
His utterances, however, didn’t sit well with the camp of Obi and the Labour Party.
Reacting in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Obiora Ifoh, said Soyinka’s statement was not expected of someone who is highly revered as a “detribalised” statesman.
In the release titled, ‘Soyinka: Statesmen are not double-faced, not blind to truth,’ Ifoh noted that they couldn’t imagine that the playwright could stoop to the ‘groupthink syndrome’ based on “primordial considerations”.
A groupthink syndrome is a phenomenon that occurs when a group of individuals reaches a consensus without critical reasoning or evaluation of the consequences or alternatives.
He said, “Prof. Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian whose accomplishments in the literary world are without doubt intimidating. However, we beg to disagree with his prognosis and personal opinion on the performance of our party during the 2023 general elections. The facts are before the courts and, out of respect for our judiciary, we will reserve our comments until the Supreme Court makes a final pronouncement.
“We understand that the literary giant is human and thus susceptible to emotions and probably said what he said based on information made available to him by those who share the ‘Emilokan’ sentiment.
“It is most befuddling as well as disconcerting that a detribalised and activist like Soyinka would succumb to the ‘groupthink syndrome’ that subscribes to state capture by those belonging to the criminal fringe by any means, based on primordial considerations. We really appreciate him for at least giving some credits to Labour Party and its presidential candidate for breaking the monopoly of power hitherto held by the two other parties.”
Continuing, the spokesman also expressed disappointment that Soyinka decided to take sides rather than condemn some anomalies in the build-up to the last general elections and the abysmal performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Ifoh, however, concluded that Soyinka is a Nigerian and equally entitled to his opinion.
“The whole world followed the 2023 general election and there was a global condemnation on not only the outcome of the election but also the process, particularly, the ‘glitch’ that occurred only during the transmission of presidential result to IREV. We didn’t hear as much as a whisper from Kongi on reminding INEC to stand by its word.
“We will not allege selective amnesia as the reason for Soyinka’s wrong prognosis but we would have expected him to be a statesman, which we thought he was by remaining on the side of caution. We want to also let him know that building a New Nigeria is a dream whose time has come and Nigerian youths will not relent until such a dream is realised,” he said.
JUST IN: Obaseki Accepts Shaibu’s Apology, Says To Err Is Human, To Forgive Divine
… says dep gov’s unwarranted provocation caused him severe personal discomfort
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has accepted the public apology made by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, noting that as a person of faith, he was under obligation to accept the apology.
In a letter titled, “Re: Public Apology By The Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu,” the governor said in good faith, he trusts that the public apology as expressed by Shaibu is genuine and followed by contrite steps to improve his conflict resolution skills.
The letter reads: “I have noted the public apology made by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu. This apology followed an aberrant behaviour that contradicts what the people of Edo State stand for.
“To name a few, the Deputy Governor needlessly filed unfounded petitions in the Nigerian courts restraining me, the State House of Assembly and Security agencies from a non-existent impeachment process, followed by repeated breaches of protocol; unwarranted and unprovoked attacks in the media on my person and the State Government. The media frenzy as a result of the above and more, provided an impression of crises that has been precarious and distasteful to Edo people in the State and across the world.
“Although these unwarranted provocations caused me severe personal discomfort, as a person of faith, I am under obligation to accept this apology because as they say, “to err is human, to forgive is divine.”
Obaseki further noted, “In good faith, I trust that the public apology as expressed by the Deputy Governor is genuine and followed by contrite steps to improve his conflict resolution skills. I also enjoin the Deputy Governor to guide his proxies to act in accordance with his piety.”
He added, “It is my sincere hope and that of my other colleagues in government and all well-meaning Edo people, that these rhetorics will be put to an end forthwith to enable this administration finish strong and deliver the dividends of democracy to the greatest number of Edo people over this final twelve (12) months.”
Nigerian Prophet Makes Fresh Revelations About Kano, Ondo, Edo Politics
The spiritual head of the Wisdom Church of Christ International, Prophet Bisi Olujobi, has released fresh revelations about the political situations in Ondo, Edo and Kano States.
Olujobi, in a statement made available to DAILY POST on Thursday, said the embattled Ondo Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, would find it hard to succeed Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in 2024.
The cleric, who prayed for Akeredolu to conclude his tenure, recalled that he had earlier advised Aiyedatiwa to tread cautiously, to be vigilant and prayerful because of “sudden battles”.
Olujobi said, “I see him being impeached unceremoniously any moment from now and that will close permanently his political career in Ondo State.”
On Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shuaibu, the prophet said, “Jehovah God has raised strategic people to fight for him regardless of where the battle his coming from,” asking Shuaibu to pray.
“Shuaibu should be more humble and watchful of his securities as I see the battle not lasting long. He has a brighter chance of succeeding the incumbent, Governor Godwin Obaseki,” he stated.
Speaking about Kano politics, the Prophet said the tribunal’s judgement sacking Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf would not stand.
According to him, “there should not be cause for alarm in Kano State as Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf will retain power after appealing the judgment of the tribunal. He will laugh last.”
Lawyers, Ex-lawmakers Disagree Over Ondo Deputy Gov’s Impeachment Plot
…Aiyedatiwa abusing court process —Lawyers
Some lawyers, including Messrs Jiti Ogunye and Femi Emodamori, and former lawmakers from Ondo State, yesterday, disagreed over the move to impeach the embattled Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who has been accused of alleged gross misconduct.
While Ogunye and Emodamori accused the deputy governor of attempting to stop his impeachment through an interim order, the former lawmakers warned the Assembly members against heating the polity by impeaching Aiyedatiwa.
Ogunye, who was featured on a television programme, said that Aiyedatiwa was wrong to have approached the court, when the process had not been completed.
He said: “The issue of principle here is that there is a route, under Section 188 of the Constitution, which says that ‘seven days you should receive a notice served by the Speaker on the holder of the office, be it governor or deputy governor’.
“Within 14 days, a vote is taken and, if two-third passes the matter, it goes to the Chief Judge of the state within seven days and then a panel is set up within three months and the report comes in.
“After the report comes in, if the report says no misconduct has been committed, the matter ends there. If it says misconduct is proven then the person is impeached.
“That’s the process. And so, if at the tail-end the process is not followed, the holder of the office has recourse to have him restored to power.
“The second one is the federalist principle which is very dear to me. You are a deputy governor of a state, you have a state high court, you are suing everybody in that state including the Chief Judge of that state, and you are taking them to a Federal Government court. That offends my federalist principle.”
Also throwing his weight behind Ogunye, the counsel to the House of Assembly, Femi Emodamori, argued that if the lawmakers clearly and meticulously follow Section 188 (1-9), no court, as stipulated in Section 10, has the power to intervene.
Emodamori said: ”It is only when there are pure breaches of the law that the court may intervene. Now, the deputy governor hasn’t even been served, the notice was initiated by eleven members of the House, more than one-third required, and he didn’t wait to be served.
“He’s alleging violation of his right to a fair hearing that he’s not been served. That it’s within social media even when Section 188 says he should be served within seven days and it’s not yet seven days.
“Rushing to court even before the panel is constituted is an abuse of judicial process. He doesn’t have a fundamental human right to protect at that stage. The body to hear him is the panel to be constituted by the Chief Judge. Until the body begins work, how do you complain about the violation to a fair hearing?”
Assembly endorsing bad precedence—Ex-lawmakers
On their part, the former lawmakers in the state, who addressed newsmen in Akure, urged the Ondo Assembly to preserve the sanctity and integrity of the assembly.
Speaking on behalf of the lawmakers, Abiodun Jerome said: “The present House of Assembly is less than four months old, and it’s very unfortunate that impeachment proceeding is their priority amongst the myriad of critical issues confronting our state presently.
“We want to unequivocally state here that the House must be careful not to dare the wrath of the people by heating the polity.
“The Assembly must be very careful from turning themselves into a puppet in the hands of some desperate politicians.
“It is on this note that we challenge the present Assembly not to endorse a bad precedence by going ahead with this planned impeachment of the Deputy Governor.
“As critical stakeholders in Ondo State, we consider it incumbent that we do not fold our arms and watch our political labour and those of our pathfinders washed away by the interest of a clique within our political system.”
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