I will assess Tinubu’s govt after 12 months – Wole Soyinka

NOBEL Laureate and academic, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Sunday, said he would reserve all his observations about President Bola Tinubu’s administration until one year into his tenure, in May 2024.

Soyinka described this as a personal policy of his, saying this one-year delay gives the President enough time to “make up” for lost grounds.

Soyinka said this when he paid a courtesy visit to the President who is holidaying in Lagos.

“Well, you know, something you may have noticed about me is that most heads of state, when they take office, I always leave them alone for about the first year…because they need time.

“I know when they come in, they don’t start from ground zero. They often start even lower than ground zero and they have to make up.

“So, I’m adopting the same principle this time. When you see me next year, ask the same question again and listen to my answer,” he explained.

Soyinka, who called Sunday’s appearance an “embarrassing visit.” said he approached the President with a seven-point agenda which he declined to reveal.

“I came here with a seven-point agenda. And we had a very thorough discussion on those items.

“Actually, it’s an embarrassing visit because when I visited him the last time, it was to try and persuade him not to run for office. I told Atiku and himself to please leave the ground so young people could run. That’s the last time we met about five years ago.

“So I came to see how he was doing after ignoring my advice. I came to see how both he and his wife were weathering Nigeria, and to wish them a Happy Christmas,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti, who also visited Tinubu in Lagos, urged Nigerians to remain patient saying the economic reforms would yield prosperity if sustained.

Otti said, “One thing is that he has a very courageous, unifying policy; the exchange rate and then removing subsidy, which actually had become a scam and costing us a lot of money.

“Those policies are good but then they come with the negative sides. They come with challenges for an economy where over 60 percent of the population is living below the poverty line.

“So, it’s not going to be easy, immediately. But I believe that if we are patient and if we go through the policies without compromising, over time, things will turn around.”


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How Obasanjo, Soyinka, Akintoye, Adebanjo, others secured my release — Sunday Igboho

•Says he’s returning to Nigeria soon

•It confirmed FG had nothing against him —Aliyu, counsel

AFTER two years of incarceration in Benin Republic, Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, yesterday, commended Yoruba leaders and some traditional rulers, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; Professor Banji Akintoye, Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, and others, for working tirelessly to secure his release from Benin Republic.

Igboho was apprehended on Monday, July 19, 2021, at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, by the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) while he was on his way to Germany.

His departure from Nigeria followed a raid on his Soka residence in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, by the Department of State Services, which had accused him of stockpiling weapons.
The Yoruba Nation activist, who confirmed his release in a statement he read on his Instagram handle, hailed the Yoruba leaders and traditional rulers for their roles in securing his release.

In his statement titled ‘My Release in Benin Republic’, Igboho said: “My sincere appreciation goes to God almighty, the master of the universe for making this day. I want to say a big thank you to all Yoruba sons and daughters all over the world for their love and support before and after the loss of my dear mother, though she’s still kept at the morgue, waiting for me to come and give her the befitting burial that she deserves.

“I give special thanks to President Talon of Benin Republic and all members of his cabinet. My gratitude goes to my heroic father, Professor Banji Akintoye, and Professor Wole Soyinka for their support in the course of the struggle.

“You promised to stand by me through my ordeal in Benin Republic and you have fulfilled your promise.

“I will not forget to appreciate former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and Baba Ayo Adebanjo for their roles, even though only God gives freedom. Let me use this opportunity to say thank you to all religious leaders, pastors, Muslim clerics, and traditional worshippers for their prayers day and night.

“Our royal fathers, Obas, and Chiefs in Yoruba land, your love and support are so appreciated. But we need more of your support to deliver our lands from slavery because Yoruba land is ours.”

Giving a hint of his return to Nigeria, the Yoruba activist said: “I am now free to return to Nigeria and visit any country in the world. I have fulfilled all the legal conditions attached to my bail a few years back and I am coming home to Nigeria, my country of origin, any moment from now.

“I can confirm to you that I am now free to come back to Nigeria. There is no legal encumbrance again. Even though I have been living in Cotonou for some time, I can confirm to you categorically that I have now secured the liberty to leave Cotonou for Nigeria.”

It confirmed FG had nothing against him—Aliyu, counsel

Confirming Igboho’s release, one of his counsels, Yomi Aliyu, SAN, said: “I can confirm that he has left Benin Republic.

“Other than filing the case that awarded N200.5 billion I did nothing. It was the case that revealed that the Nigerian government had no case against him leading to removing him from prison and putting him under house arrest.”


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Labour Party reprehends Soyinka over comments on Obi, Datti

The leadership of the Labour Party has reprehended Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, for accusing the party for its attempt to hoodwink Nigerians into believing that its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, won the contentious 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 stressed that the Labour Party was aware that Obi came third but the leadership persisted in playing “gbajue” (to force a lie) on the people, especially the youthful population.

His utterances, however, did not sit well with the camp of Obi and high-ranking members of the Labour Party.

Reacting in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, the National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, described Soyinka’s statement as 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 the truth,’ Ifoh further stated they could not imagine that the playwright could succumb 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 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 credit to the 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 choose a side 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 ‘Kongi’ 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 results 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 dream is realised,” he said.


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