By Nehru Odeh
Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka is currently being attacked on social media, especially Twitter over his recent comments on the presidential candidate of the Labour Party Mr Peter Obi and his running mate Datti Baba- Ahmed.
The distinguished writer who has over the years championed the rights of everyone to freedom of expression is being attacked over the recent statements he made in his recent interviews with Channels Television and Arise TV.
Soyinka is being attacked for lambasting the excessess of the Obidients movement, which he described as fascist, a threat to the judiciary and totally unacceptable.
He is also being attacked for the statement he made in a press statement when he said he had told Obi before the presidential election that if he lost the election, it would be his followers who lost it for him
Recall that Soyinka on Tuesday released a statement saying that the media quoted him out of context from the Channels Television interview in which he lambasted Baba-Ahmed for making inciting statements against the judiciary.
Channels TV had aired the one and half-hour interview it had with Soyinka a week ago on Monday with several media houses feasting on the interview.
“When remarks are taken out of context, spliced into a new one, provided a sensational headline, distortions become stamped on public receptivity, and the central intent of one’s remarks becomes completely unrecognizable.
“I denounced the menacing utterances of a Vice-Presidential aspirant as unbecoming. It was a gladiatorial challenge directed at the judiciary and, by implication, the rest of the democratic polity.
“But what on earth has happened to my even more urgent condemnation of the physical violence inflicted on those designated “strangers” in Lagos in the lead up to, and during governorship elections?
“This prejudicial selectivity is a betrayal of trust, and I find it contemptuous of public deserving. My critique of incipient fascism in the movement remains grounded in indisputable evidence. Throughout the interview, I continued to stress that the final word had yet to be pronounced on the elections – that omission renders the full message tendentious!”
“It was depressing to watch his lieutenant, a crucially positioned voice of a movement that has “broken the mould”, threaten the totality of social existence. Whatever our ideological leaning, is Donald Trump the ideal template for a burgeoning democracy in the nation?” Soyinka maintained. He also expressed similar views in his interview with Arise TV .
Soyinka also said in the Arise TV interview that he on different occasions had advised the President-Elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party Abubakar Atiku to step down for the younger generation.
“When Atiku came to my office in Ikeja, he came with Gbenga Daniel, my former governor. I said to him listen is about the time you people left the stage. Why don’t you just go away? We need an infusion of fresh blood into the system,” Soyinka said.
“For some people, maybe they read it as blood-letting, no I said, an infusion of fresh blood. I said so I cannot support you. I think your generation should really quit. He was not the only one. I then sought out the current President-elect, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, and I gave him exactly the same message.
“I said whatever you people are planning, I am convinced that when a younger generation, new thinking, new sensibility, new energies, so why don’t you just leave the seat.
“Let’s look for somebody who is a really brilliant individual and use your influence to catapult that person to power. And this country will see a massive transformation.
“We spoke for about one and a half hours, and then Bola Tinubu said no. He said there were still things he could contribute,” Soyinka added.
Here are some of the comments being made by trolls on Twitter.
Wole Soyinka, an elder statesman is more angry about Datti’s Response to the fraudulent elections than the fraudulent elections itself.
Some Elders are over rated.
There’s a reason they chose Wole Soyinka. His international reputation. Then imagine an internationally acclaimed literary legend branding a movement as fascist on international TV! And someone wants to tell me he or the people who sent him didn’t know what they were doing.
Words have real power. Language is a potent form of mind control. If someone is able to control the words that people us to describe you, he has control over people’s perception of you – which can have real implications for you.
NEVER let anyone force their adjectives on you.
Don’t forget Wole Soyinka was one of those people that foisted Buhari on us. He criticized GEJ so much and even likened him to King Nebuchadnezzar. He also allegedly called his wife Hippotamus in 2013. When they try to gag you with respect our elders, show them this tweet.
Wole Soyinka calling the Obidients ‘Fascists’ is part of the plan. Their grand plan is to demarket Peter Obi internationally. They unleashed Lai Mohammed in stage 2. Expect more from international press. But we are ready to counter all their agenda!
IT’S AN ALL OUT MEDIA WAR! 🧨
You didn’t remeber OBJ was an elder when you were insulting him.
Or that Bishop Oyedepo was an elder when you propagated a fake audio recording to tarnish his image.
Or Peter Obi for same.
But “wOLe SoYInKa is an eLDeR”.
Shut the hell up.
Can’t remember Wole Soyinka saying anything about fascism when the statement “the dogs and the baboons will be soaked in blood”
Unlike that particular scenario, Peter Obi has constantly cautioned his supporters to be law abiding, while waiting for the court.
Fun fact: Circa 1988, Professor Wole Soyinka once worked for the fascist government of the dictator Ibrahim Babangida. He has always had a complicated relationship with Nigeria’s dictators!
Hear Maradona Babangida: “Our administration summoned Professor Soyinka to higher… https://t.co/ePcE9EOpCk https://t.co/ridoKAYB7M
Wole Soyinka Hijacked a Radio Station in the 60s
Wole Soyinka Advocated Guerrilla Warfare in the Late 90s
Calling Datti a Fascist is a bit Rich & Hypocritical I must say.
Wole Soyinka -the man who promised to tear his US green card if trump wins and never did- has lost… https://t.co/ukKMKVnq8d https://t.co/UDczC1lRz3
Wole Soyinka spoke articulately for almost half an hour. He is 88 years old.
Tinubu a who claims a fraudulent age of 71 can’t speak clearly for 1 minute. His brain can’t meet up. But Wole Soyinka and 🌽’s want him to lead 200mn people. Clowns!
Your fraudulent victory will be… https://t.co/ElGGpcXu56
The insults being heaped on Prof Wole Soyinka by Obidients for saying he warned Peter Obi that his followers boorish behaviour would cost him the election is sad. Go through history. Find out why Soyinka was arrested in 1967. The man should be a hero to Obidients!
Wole Soyinka is doing a brief for BAT & hiding under the cloak of the solemnity of the SC. He was nowhere to be found when BAT was screaming Emilokan, GRV got bullied, Mc Oluomo threatened Ndiigbo, etc. He is crawling out now to dictate how a victim reacts? Respectfully, shut up!
.Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka is a principled fighter for justice in our country and around the world. He is a phenomenon that unlettered and uncultured people may not fully understand in an age of lazy social media in which many don’t read or think deep.