Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has lambasted a former president of Nigeria over his endorsement of a presidential candidate of the former ruling ahead of the next general elections.
The Punch reports that Soyinka urged Nigerians to be wary of the former president who pretends to be the conscience of the nation.
He made the statement in Abuja on Wednesday, January 9, at a symposium on fake news organised by BBC News.
The playwright, who was a panelist at the event tagged, ‘Nigeria 2019: Countering Fake News’, urged the traditional media not to spread unfounded allegations as the electronic media sometimes do.
The Nobel Laureate said if the former leader had been referring to a certain person for eight years as ‘a devil’ and is now telling Nigerians to vote for the devil, then there is a reason for Nigerians to express some doubt. Soyinka said:
“We have got to develop a very healthy skepticism.
If someone in a position of power for eight years has lectured a nation for eight years and after that, continued year after year to continue to direct the minds of a whole nation in one direction, only saying, ‘This is Lucifer from hell’ for eight years in office and several more years out of office saying, ‘This is Lucifer’ and then one day he changed and says:
‘Behold your redeemer;’ which of the two is fake news?” He did not mention the former president he was referring to, nor the alleged Lucifer.
Prior to this, former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday, October 11, pledged to support his former running mate, Atiku Abubakar’s presidential bid as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of 2019 general elections.
He had said: “Let me start by congratulating president-to-be, Atiku Abubakar, for his success at the recent PDP primary and I took note of his gracious remarks in his acceptance speech that it all started here.
“Yes, when it started, it was meant for Atiku to succeed Obasanjo. In the presence of these distinguished leaders of goodwill today, let me say it openly that we have reviewed what went wrong on the side of Atiku.