There was plan to annul 2023 presidential election – Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, on Wednesday, said there was a conspiracy to annul the 2023 presidential election.

While referring to the 1993 election cancelled by former military dictator Ibrahim Babangida (retd.), Soyinka said, “History was about to repeat itself, some people were determined to take us back to those days.”

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Bola Tinubu, as President.

Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor, was declared winner after polling 8,794,726 votes to win the 2023 presidential election.

The Nigerian playwright who spoke on Channels Television on Wednesday, said, “I am alleging that there was a conspiracy from the very beginning before the election to make sure the elections did not take place or that even if the voting did take place, that everything be reverted to what happened under Babangida.

“When we all just woke up and discovered that even though the results have been calculated, even though the results were in possession of international bodies, including monitoring embassies and so on, even if we had the results directly, it was suddenly annulled.”

He added that to him, “it was no longer a contest between individuals, it was now a contest between the so-called interim political party and democracy.

“When you have a binary like that, I have no doubt or hesitation about what side of the barricade my position should be.”

While reacting to the comment of the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 election, Datti Baba-Ahmed, Soyinka said it was “a disgraceful interview”.

Baba-Ahmed, a former House of Representatives member had asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Kayode Ariwoola, not to swear in Tinubu as duly elected president of the country.

Soyinka described Baba-Ahmed’s comment as “disgraceful and menacing”.

“At that interview by Datti, that disgraceful and menacing interview, was for me the ultimate signal because this was somebody calling for the rubbishing of a structure he profited to ever become a governor,” Soyinka added.

The Supreme Court had in October 2023 dismissed the cases of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party and Peter Obi of the LP challenging the declaration ofTinubu’s as the winner of the February 25 presidential poll.

A seven-judge panel ruled without merit the opposition appeals over claims of fraud, electoral law violations, and Tinubu’s ineligibility to run for president.

The court thrashed all the grounds of appeal of Atiku and PDP on qualification, non-compliance with the Electoral Act, the 25 per cent votes in FCT, and electoral malpractices.(The Punch)

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