Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has been dragged on social media after expressing displeasure at a statement made by the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Datti Baba-Ahmed.
Baba-Ahmed, whose ticket with his principal, Peter Obi, emerged third in the February 25 presidential election, had spoken about the Supreme Court in a manner described by Soyinka as “fascistic language”.
“I denounced the menacing utterances of a vice-presidential aspirant as unbecoming. It was a gladiatorial challenge directed at the judiciary and, by implication, the rest of the democratic polity,” Soyinka said in an interview with Channels Television.
Baba-Ahmed and Obi are currently before the presidential election petition tribunal with disputes about the election won by President-elect Bola Tinubu as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Soyinka, in the interview, revealed that he had warned Obi that if he lost the presidential election, it would be as a result of his followers’ attitude.
But the Nobel laureate’s comment was met with criticism from Obi’s supporters, popularly known as Obidients, who took to Twitter to express their displeasure.
One Twitter user, @ucheinspires, accused the Nobel laureate of having a personal relationship with Tinubu’s family, saying, “It will not be surprising to me if he goes after anyone perceived to be against his dearly beloved friend and brother Tinubu.”
On his part, @iangobo, said, “Grandpa Soyinka must have been brought back home to lend Tinubu his voice as a beneficiary of Tinubu’s largesse. I didn’t expect anything less from him.”
Another user, @BishopPOEvang, described Soyinka as “the man who promised to tear his US green card if Trump won and never did.”
But defending Soyinka, the candidate of the Young Progressives Party in the 2019 presidential election, Kingsley Moghalu, said the Nobel laureate would survive his critics.
He tweeted, “Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka is a principled fighter for justice in our country and around the world. He is a phenomenon that unlettered and uncultured people may not fully understand in an age of lazy social media in which many don’t read or think deep. He survived dictators. He will survive you.”
Moghalu was immediately dragged on Twitter where his post garnered over 4,000 comments, mostly from critics.
One @Polsaph said, “Jealousy! You wish you were Peter Obi, right?” While @OjiUgo_nwa said, “So, because he endorsed your candidacy in 2019 he’s above criticism? This is really laughable; wake up because this is 2023 and we’re on a mission to set this country on the right path.”