Wole Soyinka has described as inappropriate and diversionary the media reports that Peter Obi’s recent visit to his Abeokuta, Ogun State, residence was for reconciliation.
The renowned playwright said he knows and can relate to Obi as the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25 election but does not know any entity called Obidients.
Following the visit, Obi, in a series of tweets, said his visit to the literary icon “was intended to erase the needless misconceptions about the relationship between the great icon and the OBIdient family."
Obi’s visit and tweets were predicated on his supporters’ reactions to Soyinka’s comments on post-election remarks by the vice presidential candidate of the LP, Datti Baba-Ahmed.
Recall that during his interviews on Channels TV and later on Arise TV in April, the Nobel laureate faulted Datti for saying swearing in the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on May 29 would mark the end of democracy in Nigeria.
The playwright also challenged Datti to a one-on-one debate on live television over his controversial views regarding the outcome of the presidential election.
Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka and Labour Party vice presidential candidate Datti Baba-Ahmed [punch]
However, Soyinka’s comments about Datti did not go down well with Obidients, a term denoting Obi’s supporters. They trolled and abused the Nobel laureate online.
In his reaction to the criticism directed at him by Obidents, Soyinka, in a statement titled “Fascism on Course”, said the “seeds of incipient fascism in the political arena have evidently matured”.
Reacting to media reports that Obi’s visit to him was for reconciliation, Soyinka said there’s no issue to reconcile between him and Obidents because he does not know them.
The playwright said in a statement, “Let me clarify: I know the entity known as Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party. I can relate to him. I know and can relate to the Labour Party, on whose platform he contested elections. There are simply no issues to reconcile between those two entities and myself.
However, I do not know and am unable to relate to something known as the “Obidient” or “Obidient Family.” Thus, albeit in a different vein, any notion of reconciliation or even relations — positive, negative, or indifferent — with such a spectral emanation is simply grasping at empty air.
He clarified that during the meeting, attended by only two other individuals, the word “reconciliation” was not mentioned.
Soyinka further said that the discussions between him and Obi were frank and creative, stressing that the notion of reconciliation was clearly non-applicable and never raised.