Anti-Datti Comment: Why I Opposed Soyinka – Chimamanda Adichie
Literary guru, Chimamanda Adichie, has reacted to labeling of supporters of Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, as fascists by Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.
Soyinka, in an interview with Channels Television had accused Obi’s supporters referred to as Obidients of fascism over their refusal to entertain criticism, tagging it as their “badge of honour”.
In the interview, Soyinka had also described the vice presidential candidate of the LP, Baba Ahmed-Datti, as a fascist following an earlier interview where Datti said the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, should not be sworn in.
“Whoever swears in Mr Tinubu has ended Democracy in Nigeria. Mr President, do not hold that inauguration. CJN your lordship, do not partake in unconstitutionality,” Baba-Ahmed had said.
While reacting to Soyinka’s comments, the “Half of a Yellow Sun” writer said she strongly disagreed with Soyinka, saying that the “word is a very strong word which doesn’t describe the Obidients.”
She featured as a guest on Arise TV’s Politics in Nigeria.
Adichie said the word should instead be used for the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), rather than Datti and the Obidients.
“I have a lot of love and respect for Prof Soyinka but I disagree very strongly with him on this issue. Fascist is a very strong word and I don’t see any reason why Dr Datti’s interview was termed that way,” the multiple award winning Nigerian-born novelist said.
“Fascist can be used for INEC because many Nigerians feel cheated and gagged; with all the violence that occurred during the elections, that is Fascist.”
She added that the confusion over the recent election is due to INEC‘s “deliberate non-transmission of results in real-time as stated in its guidelines.”
She said President Muhammadu Buhari and INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had the chance to become the hero of Nigeria and Africa if only they delivered a transparent presidential poll.