Last updated on February 10th, 2019 at 12:44 pm
Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Thursday, condemned the ruling All Progressives Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, saying it’s time for Nigerian in a new direction.
Soyinka vowed not to vote the presidential candidates of both parties Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar in the forthcoming elections, describing the two political parties as worthy of absolute rejection.
He spoke in Lagos at the 2019 Citizen Forum titled, ‘Civic Choice in a Time of Judicial Penkelemes.’
Soyinka said, “For the avoidance of doubt, let me make my position quite clear; I don’t want any ambiguity. I, Wole Soyinka, will not be voting for either of the two so-called contesting (political) parties. I find both of them worthy of absolute rejection for a number of reasons which I wouldn’t go into. I am not interested in comparative assessment. It is too late for that.
“My position is that it is time for a totally new direction. Obviously, I am not the only one, otherwise there will not be so many opposition parties wanting to take over the reins of government. There are things that have been going on quietly in the background to try and change the direction of this nation in a very positive way and to make the public understand that they do not have to be enslaved permanently to the old, discredited order.”
He said it possible for a completely new party to change the order, saying it had happened before in other societies when a dark horse emerged and thumped political juggernauts and others in spite of their capacity for violence and treachery.
Soyinka added, “To the extent that right now, we have third force here, third force there. Whereas the third force expression was by one of the genuine opposition movements that is usually the professional hijackers that disrupted that particular kind of approach which is one of the reasons by the way why up till now the consensus candidate has not taken place simply because this reprobate hijacked the very notion of a third force. We know the background to it.
“All that matters is that an alternative emerges eventually and we in the Citizen Forum will back that alternative. We hope that the alternative will correspond through the individual we have identified as perhaps the best candidate of the lot.”
He pointed out that all the past administrations in Nigeria had tried to hamstring the judiciary in many ways.
“Methods differ. That is all. Oh! Sorry there are one or two exceptions. I would say that one former head of state was an exception. He never tampered with the judiciary. All he did was to ignore them completely, including their decisions. And of course, he locked up individuals without trials people like the new Are Ona Kakanfo for months.”
Other speakers at the event were human rights lawyers, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), Femi Aborisade and President, Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin.
Other speakers at the events unanimously pointed out that President Buhari failed to follow the due process in the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of the Federation.