I’ve never heard anyone threaten the judiciary on TV the way Datti did –Prof. Soyinka


Wole Soyinka, the Nobel laureate, has described the comments by Datti Baba-Ahmed, vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), in a recent interview as containing “fascistic language”.


Soyinka spoke in a chat with Arise TV on Wednesday.


On March 22, Datti, in an interview with Channels TV, said the country has no president-elect despite the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announcing Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election.


The LP vice-presidential candidate said Tinubu would be leading an unconstitutional government if sworn into office because the APC candidate “has not met requirements of the law”.


The interview has elicited criticism from political stakeholders as well as a N5 million fine for the TV station.


Adding his voice to the conversation, Soyinka described Datti’s remarks as a “kind of do-or-die attitude and provocation” that goes contrary to democratic disposition.


He said the LP vice-presidential candidate tried to “dictate to the supreme arbiter of the nation”, adding that it was unacceptable.


“I have never heard anyone threaten the judiciary on television the way Datti did. I heard the kind of menacing, blackmailing language as that to which we were treated by Datti. That kind of do-or-die attitude and provocation is not what I think we have all been struggling for,” Soyinka said.


“Nearly the totality of Datti’s comment in the interview was unbecoming. It was like trying to dictate to the supreme arbiter of the nation, and whatever you think of the supreme court, it is an institution we all refer to sooner or later.


“But Datti kept saying, in his wisdom, that the supreme court must agree with me. That is what is known as fascistic language and it is not acceptable.”




The Nobel laureate has been one of the most prominent victims of fake news in the country in recent years.


The latest was a viral social media post which claimed he endorsed Tinubu during the run-up to the presidential election.


Reacting to what he called “nauseating and praise-singing tracts”, Soyinka announced a $1000 reward for “anyone who can finger successfully the author of some of the tracts which have been attributed to me over the past six months”.


“Please beware of fake news. A lot of damage is being done by fake news. Even as recently as a few days ago. Some garbage, verbiage, nauseating and praise-singing tracts which we have seen so many times before have been resurrected and attributed to Wole Soyinka. It makes me sick. If people want to be praise singers let them do it in their own father’s name and leave Soyinka out of it,” he said.


 “I want to use this opportunity to announce a reward of $1000 to anyone who can finger successfully the author of some of the tracts which have been attributed to me over the past six months.”


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  1. Mr. Soyinka with all due respect, you have failed to criticize INEC for their sabotage and corrupt practices against our pampered democracy, but only comes out to criticize Datti Ahmed.

  2. How can he criticise inec. For what? For keeping obidatti at where they belong in 3rd position. Datti is simply unmature politician who was overwhelmed by Internet supporters. He was over confident b4 d election

  3. Yes you need a party with national spread to win presidential election not a regional party like lp and nnpp


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