Ekiti: Nobel Laureate Soyinka says gagging order 'Criminal'

Ekiti: Nobel Laureate Soyinka says gagging order 'Criminal'

Monday, June 23, 2014 3:29 pm

Wole SoyinkaNigeria’s Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has condemned in very strong terms, the gagging order against some key opposition party members, including governors, from participating in the Ekiti electoral rallies preceding Saturday‘s  Ekiti governorship election, describing it as “unconstitutional and criminal”.

Soyinka said following the recent political events leading to the Ekiti elections, it was time he gets “less metaphoric” in his approach and “learn to take politicians a bit more seriously, ” in their expressions.

“When Vice President Namadi Sambo visited Akure, two months ago and said this election was going to be war, I rebuked some of the critics who said the VP had come to announce the outbreak of war. I said, dont be silly, expressions like ‘fight to finish’, ‘do or die’ or ‘it is war to end’, are only figures of speech.

“Even when his predecessor (Atiku Abubakar) used phrases “like do or die”, I took the same position as I regard such expressions as a poetic license.  It is a metaphor that should never be taken literally.

“But going by what happened recently, it turned out that the critics were right and I wrong.” said the literary Icon.

Professor Soyinka said: “Electioneering is part of the democratic process. The prevention of governors, or their supporters, anyone, from their own political campaign is nothing short of an act of war.

“Exercising the electoral rights, (which) includes going for a campaign, is part and parcel of the election of a democratic process  and as important as going for the main election, just as the aftermath of election continues the electoral process itself.

Soyinka said, public actions like the waving of flags, sweeping the stage after your opponents are gone, is part of the language of democracy.

” I don’t care if it is a governor or a local government councilor, to prevent anyone  from attending a campaign for the success of an election is not just unconstitutional but criminal and such persons should be charged to court, ” he said

Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State was ambushed by security operatives detained for a few hours on Thursday, while the aircraft of his Edo State counterpart Adams Oshiomole was grounded to prevent the APC governors from giving solidarity to Dr. Kayode Fayemi during the political rally to garner support for his relection.

The APC addressed a press conference following the incident where it condemned the ruling party of President Goodluck Jonathan for its intolerance towards the opposition and described the action as fascistic.

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