Breaking : "Obidients" Is One Of The Most Repulsive Off-Putting Concoctions I Have Ever Encountered In Political Arena ..Wole Soyinka


Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka has said the recent attacks against him justify his earlier position that the Labour Party was taking the direction of fascism.

 In a statement issued on Friday titled, ‘Fascism On Course’, Soyinka said the “seeds of seeds of incipient fascism in the political arena have evidently matured”.

Musician, Femi Kuti had expressed his dislike for the use of the word ‘Obidients’ to describe the followers of Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

Soyinka said it “is one of the most repulsive, off-putting concoctions I ever encountered in any political arena”.

Soyinka had criticised an attempt made by the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Datti Baba-Ahmed to dictate to the Supreme Court regarding the party’s suit challenging the presidential election is unacceptable.

 Soyinka during an interview on Arise TV on Wednesday condemned Baba-Ahmed’s statement in an interview in which he said the judgement of the Supreme Court must favour his party.

 Baba-Ahmed during an interview on Channels TV on Thursday, March 23, 2023, said Section 134 of the constitution stipulates that the winner of the presidential election must score the highest number of votes and at least 25 per cent each in two-thirds of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

 Baba-Ahmed also argued that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, who was declared as the ‘President-elect’ did not satisfy the requirement to be declared ‘President-elect,’ stating categorically that there was no president-elect for Nigeria yet because the declared failed to get 25 per cent of the votes in the FCT.

When asked what part of Baba-Ahmed’s statement was unbecoming, Soyinka said, “Nearly the totality, listen, the interviewer asked him several times; he said ‘what will you do if the Supreme Court judgement is against you, if the interpretation which you are offering about the constitutional aspect of this election, if it is against that of the Supreme Court.’”

 In his statement on Friday, Soyinka said, “It would appear that a record discharge of toxic sludge from our notorious smut factory is currently clogging the streets and sewers of the Republic of Liars.  It goes to prove the point that provoked the avalanche EXACTLY! “

According to the literary icon, “A climate of fear is being generated.”

He continued, “The refusal to entertain corrective criticism, even differing perspectives of the same position has become a badge of honour and certificate of commitment. What is at stake, ultimately is – Truth, and at a most elementary level of social regulation: when you are party to a conflict, you do not attempt to intimidate the arbiter, attempt to dictate the outcome, or impugn, without credible cause, his or her neutrality even before hearing has commenced. That is a ground rule of just proceeding. Short of this, Truth remains permanently elusive.

“The ensuing cacophony has been truly bewildering. It strikes me as a possible ploy to smother recent provocations by other, far more trenchant issues, such as revelations of declarations of a religious war. If so, let it be known that I have long declared war against religious fundamentalism, the nature of which justifies the butchery, kidnapping and enslavement of students in the name of religion. “That aspirant’s alleged gaffe cuts no ice with me. Far more alarming was the grotesque fantasy of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court disguised as a wheelchair, zooming off in space to a secret meeting with other parties of the conflict.

“On its own, that is sufficiently scary. Swiftly followed thereafter by a television tirade of intimidation, it strikes one as more than the mere antics by the mentally deranged. The tactics are familiar:  ridicule, incriminate, then intimidate. Objective: undermine the structure of justice.

“Just as a reminder: this writer was not being rhetorical when he declared, on exiting prison detention: Justice is the first condition of humanity.

“The instigating contest – Nigerian Democracy 2023 - has witnessed much that is innovative – largely in the retrogressive vein. Violence and ethnic profiling. “Spiritual” warfare in the shape of sacrificial rams to keep “disloyal” communites under restraint – in short, intimidation yet again!  “Easily overlooked however are those missives of violence directed against dissenting voices, real or suspect. Such, for instance, were the virulent attacks and threats to the musician Seun Kuti, his family and iconic music Shrine. His crime consisted of nothing more than declaring the name “Obidient” derogatory to his sense of civic dignity and activist history. Such beginnings – and instances are numerous - have culminated in the open intimidation of the Court of Last Resort, even before proceedings have begun.

“By the way, I do agree with Seun Kuti; ‘Obidients’ is one of the most repulsive, off-putting concoctions I ever encountered in any political arena. Some love it however, and this is what freedom is about. Choice. Taste. Free emotions.

“By contrast, I have no quarrel with “Yes Daddy”. Roman Catholics are used to saying “Yes, Father”. Secularists say “Enh, Baba”. The context and content are what matters, and lies – where established - raise bothersome issues such as Integrity Deficiency. 

“Let us remind ourselves of the following: in any adjudication, society finds it unacceptable that a party to the dispute resort to influencing tactics by extra-judicial means – such as bribery.  Intimidation and threats are merely the obverse complements of material inducement. Those who fail to appreciate this are entirely free to their existence in an illusory world.”

Source :SR


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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