Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said that he thrice told the presidential candidate of the Labour Party for the February 25, 2023 polls, Peter Obi, who to hold responsible if he loses.
Prof. Wole Soyinka made the revelation on Obi in a statement he issued on Wednesday titled: “Media Responsibility.”
In the statement, Soyinka reacted to the interview the vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Datti Baba-Ahmed, granted a programme on Channels Television: “Talking Politics.”
The interview earned the station a N5 million from the National Broadcasting Commission.
Despite the fact that the host of the programme: Seun Okinbaloye, tried to rein in Baba-Ahmed, he made comments that were considered offensive by the NBC.
Soyinka, who equally denounced the description of people from outside a state as strangers, said: “What I have read – at least, thus far – this morning, extracted from a one and a half long interview, conducted a week ago with CHANNELS Television, brings once more to the fore, the critical responsibility of the media in transmitting the spoken, even recorded – word to the public.
“This is especially crucial in. a time of civic uncertainty. 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!
“My rejection of fascism is nothing new.
“On three occasions, I was able to send a message to Peter Obi that, if he lost the election, it would be his followers who lost it for him.
“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?”