Prof. Wole Soyinka on Thursday described the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as two political parties worthy of absolute rejection.
The Nobel Laureate vowed that he will not vote President Muhammadu Buhari or former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in the forthcoming February 16 presidential election.
Mr. Soyinka stated this while speaking in Lagos at the 2019 Citizen Forum titled, ‘Civic Choice in a Time of Judicial Penkelemes.’
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me make my position quite clear; I don’t want any ambiguity. I, Wole Soyinka, will not be voting for either of the two so-called contesting (political) parties. I find both of them worthy of absolute rejection for a number of reasons which I wouldn’t go into. I am not interested in comparative assessment. It is too late for that.
“My position is that it is time for a totally new direction. Obviously, I am not the only one, otherwise there will not be so many opposition parties wanting to take over the reins of government. There are things that have been going on quietly in the background to try and change the direction of this nation in a very positive way and to make the public understand that they do not have to be enslaved permanently to the old, discredited order.”
Soyinka noted that it had happened before in other societies when a dark horse emerged and thumped political juggernauts and others in spite of their capacity for violence and treachery, adding that there were hijackers and those who genuinely want to take over for good reform.
“To the extent that right now, we have third force here, third force there. Whereas the third force expression was by one of the genuine opposition movements that is usually the professional hijackers that disrupted that particular kind of approach which is one of the reasons by the way why up till now the consensus candidate has not taken place simply because this reprobate hijacked the very notion of a third force. We know the background to it.
“All that matters is that an alternative emerges eventually and we in the Citizen Forum will back that alternative. We hope that the alternative will correspond through the individual we have identified as perhaps the best candidate of the lot.”
Soyinka further said that successive governments since the first republic had tried to hamstring the judiciary in many ways, adding that there was hardly any government that did not attempt to muzzle the judiciary.
He however gave an exception of a government that did not tamper with the judiciary, he noted that a particular head of state completely ignored the judiciary and locked people up even without trials.
“Methods differ. That is all. Oh! Sorry there are one or two exceptions. I would say that one former head of state was an exception. He never tampered with the judiciary. All he did was to ignore them completely, including their decisions. And of course, he locked up individuals without trials people like the new Are Ona Kakanfo for months.”