• Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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BusinessDay

Wole Soyinka to “Obidients”: Nobody can stop me from telling truth

Soyinka disagrees with FG, says lockdown on Lagos, Ogun,  Abuja illegal 

Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate and playwright has said supporters of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of Labour Party for the 2023 election who are averse to his views can’t troll him to silence.

Soyinka said despite several attacks on his personality by Obi’s supporters who are referred to as “Obidents”, during the build-up to the 2023 general elections, he would continue to speak truth to power regardless of whose ox is gored.

In May 2023, the playwright had described some comments made by the LP vice presidential candidate Baba-Ahmed’s as “fascistic language”.

Following this remark, the literary juggernaut came under heavy criticism on social media by the “Obidients” who felt he ought to stay off issues around politics.

Speaking on his experience with trolls online in a recent interview with Noble Nigeria, Soyinka said the criticism won’t change his person, adding that those expecting him to keep quiet should get their “head examined”.

“Nobody, anybody on this earth who thinks he can stop me from telling the truth as I see it should get his or her head examined,” Soyinka said.

“Again, it has to do with education. I feel disgusted especially when facts are being ‘manufactured’. I read some of these things and I was disgusted. There is no other word for it, I really was disgusted. And I know it was orchestrated.

“The Internet has become so promiscuous and I know there is a relay mechanism that is triggered into action by those who control the trolls of the Internet.

“But it is depressing to see those who wanted to be political leaders encouraging that kind of action, and attitude in the youth. And my mind went to the expression, ‘They don’t know what they’re doing’,” he said.

Soyinka warned that if the trolls persist, those instigating their actions would soon feel the wrath of what they have created.

“Those who sow the wind will reap the whirlwind. These very trolls, these foot soldiers who they have trained in that aspect, one of these days, they will turn on them and teach them a lesson,” he said.

The Nobel Laureate concluded that for a country as Nigeria, a leader who can strike a balance in a “multi-texture society” is who the nation needs.

“But it is for me a sad phenomenon, especially for those who want to lead a multi-texture society, different religions, different ethnic groups, different world views and who actually want to preside over sub-groups as one, it means that have already declared themselves incompetent to lead such entity and that’s it,” Soyinka said.