Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has described Yusuf Ahmed-Datti, the vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Supreme Court comment over the swearing in of President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as reckless, fascist, menacing, and unacceptable for a person of his calibre.
In an interview with ARISE TV on Wednesday, Soyinka, a professor of literature, not only condemned the LP vice presidential candidate but reminded him that such a statement could incite people against the state if his preferred judgment is not granted.
“I never heard anyone threaten the judiciary the way I heard Dattti speaking. Blackmailing attitude. Do or die provocation is not what we are struggling for.”
According to him, “Datti kept saying the Supreme Court better give his interpretation. This is trying to dictate to the supreme arbiter of the nation.
“I mean, it is an institution we all revert to, if not today, then tomorrow. If not this election, then the next election. But Datti kept saying, “No, the Supreme Court, in its wisdom, has to agree with me.” That is what is known as fascistic language; it is not acceptable.”
Soyinka went on to accuse Datti of broad-daylight blackmailing of the judiciary.”His comments were unbecoming and a threat to the judiciary. It is a fascist language that alienates the people. It is unacceptable, and I refuse to be a part of it,” he added.
He also lashed out at the media for not only taking sides on political matters but also driving out sensational reportage that has overheated the political atmosphere. He advised the media to present issues objectively so that people can engage in fair public analysis, especially regarding the statements made by Ahmed-Datti.
He believes that Ahmed-Datti’s comments are presenting a false narrative of the supporters of the party, especially the “Obidient” family, thereby further fanning the flames of fascism in politics.
The Nobel laureate didn’t leave out the ethnic tension episodes that characterized the March 18 governorship elections. He condemned the attacks on non-indigenes in various states, especially in Lagos State, where violence and open threats broke out.
He said that prior to the general elections, he had asked the older and more experienced politicians to make way for the younger generations, describing them as the much-needed “fresh blood” to help revive the country and bring in the much needed change.
He also suggested a decentralized system of sharing political power.