Prof. Wole Soyinka, a Nobel laureate, has criticized Datti Baba-Ahmed, the Labour Party’s vice presidential candidate, for his comments that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu should not be sworn in on May 29. Soyinka described Baba-Ahmed’s words as unbecoming and a gladiatorial challenge directed at the judiciary and, by implication, the rest of the democratic polity.
In an interview on Channels TV, Soyinka also condemned the physical violence inflicted on those designated as “strangers” in Lagos during the governorship elections. He expressed disappointment that the media did not report this aspect of his interview.
Baba-Ahmed had stated in his own interview on Channels TV on 22 March that swearing in Tinubu as president would be a violation of the constitution and would signal the end of democracy. He called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria not to participate in the swearing-in of Tinubu as president.
Soyinka criticized Baba-Ahmed’s interpretation of the Nigerian constitution, saying that it was a violation of the constitution to swear in a candidate who had not met the constitutional requirements. He stressed that his critique of incipient fascism in the movement remained grounded in indisputable evidence and that the final word had yet to be pronounced on the elections.