Soyinka Declares Peter Obi Unfit to Lead Nigeria

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Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has openly criticized the 2023 Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, stating that he is unfit to lead Nigeria. This assertion stems from the conduct of Obi’s supporters, known as ‘Obidients’, during the 2023 general elections.

Soyinka emphasized that Obi’s inability to restrain his supporters from attacking individuals with opposing views online indicates a lack of leadership qualities necessary for governing a diverse nation like Nigeria. He accused Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, of tacitly encouraging these aggressive behaviors.

In a recent interview with Noble Nigeria, Soyinka expressed his hope that Obi would refrain from running in the 2027 presidential election. “I hope, for the sake of the nation, that he doesn’t express interest in the next election,” Soyinka stated. “For me, if there was any proof that he was unfit to lead this country, it lies in the conduct he encouraged among his followers.”

Soyinka recounted a particular instance to justify his claims, noting a meeting where Obi’s behavior appeared conciliatory. However, the Nobel laureate observed a stark contrast between Obi’s private assurances and his public statements.

“When he first visited me, his demeanor seemed very conciliatory,” Soyinka recalled. “I remember he took out his phone after making a statement about the ‘Obidients’. He typed a message, and everything seemed fine. But the statement he later released misrepresented our discussion.”

Soyinka expressed disappointment at Obi’s public narrative of their meeting, which diverged from the actual conversation. “It was surprising that Obi would, after our meeting, put out a different account of what transpired. This misrepresentation of events is concerning,” Soyinka added.

During a subsequent event at Stellenbosch, Soyinka reiterated his criticisms, asserting that Obi did not win the election. This statement, according to Soyinka, provoked another wave of online hostility from Obi’s supporters.

“Don’t take my word for it,” Soyinka challenged. “There were witnesses at the meeting. Obi came with two people, and there was one person from my side. Ask them! The statement he put out was not a reflection of what went on at that meeting, which I very reluctantly considered.”

In conclusion, Soyinka underscored the importance of honesty and integrity for anyone aspiring to lead a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society like Nigeria. His remarks have sparked widespread discussion about the qualities necessary for effective leadership in the country’s complex political landscape.


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