The Labour Party (LP) has accused Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, of hypocrisy and “chauvinism” for his comments on the party’s performance in the 2023 general election.
While speaking at an event held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Soyinka said the leadership of the LP knew that Peter Obi, their presidential candidate, lost the February 25 election.
Soyinka alleged that the leadership of the opposition party was attempting to impose a falsehood on Nigerian youths by claiming that Obi had won the election.
Responding in a statement issued on Thursday, Obiora Ifoh, LP spokesperson, said Soyinka’s comments were wrong and misleading.
Ifoh said Soyinka ignored the “widespread irregularities and disenfranchisement” that occurred during the elections, including the “glitching” that occurred during the transmission of the presidential election results.
He claimed Soyinka failed to condemn the attacks on LP supporters by members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos during the election.
“We beg to disagree with his prognosis and personal opinion on the performance of our party during the 2023 general elections,” the statement reads.
“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 detribalized and activist 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 are aware that Soyinka resides in Lagos state and he was in Nigeria on February 25 when elections were held in Nigeria.
“He watched probably with glee when a certain individual in Lagos warned non-indigenes to vote for a particular political party or risk being deported to their place of birth, and he never condemned it.
“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 and not exhibiting the dual character of someone who may be blinded by some chauvinistic tendencies.”
Ifoh accused Soyinka of exhibiting a “dual personality”, adding that building a new Nigeria is a dream whose time has come.