Datti Turns Down Soyinka’s Debate Challenge
Datti Baba-Ahmed confirmed he would not engage Professor Wole Soyinka in any debate.
The vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party for the February 25 presidential election, Datti Baba-Ahmed, has stated that he will not engage Professor Wole Soyinka in a debate.
Soyinka, the first literary Nobel laureate from Africa, had challenged Datti to a one-on-one interview on public television.
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In response to an online attack by OBidients, Soyinka offered to debate them in a statement titled “Fascism on Course,” calling them one of the most disgusting and repugnant entities he has ever faced in a political setting.
This happened after Baba-Ahmed recently stated on a live television program that “whoever swears in Mr. Tinubu” has “finished Democracy” in Nigeria, a stance that Soyinka characterized as irresponsible and dictating to the judiciary.
Responding to Soyinka’s challenge, the party PCC in a statement issued on Saturday, said it was bewildered by the late-hour intervention of Soyinka on issues around the flawed 2023 elections.
According to the statement, “One of those who should ordinarily and rightfully be honoured as the conscience of the nation, Soyinka, is now criminalising dissent and in fact weighing in on the side of fraud and injustice!”
The party explained that it was culturally indecent given “their age and accomplishment gaps taken into account, for Datti to sit opposite the 88-year-old global icon and point out his folly to his face, even if the old man called for it.
“We state therefore that the vice-presidential candidate of Labour Party, Dr. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed cannot take up Prof. Soyinka’s offer of a public debate, not out of cowardice, but for cultural and political reasons.
“And politically there is no basis for such a challenge in that Prof Soyinka is not on any of the opposite ballots.
“If, however, he can use his influence to drag his preferred candidates, who resisted debates throughout the campaign, to the studio this second, Datti says he is more than willing to take them on,” the Labour Party added.