Soyinka Hosts Peter Obi After Clash With Obidients
Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, said his visit on Sunday to Wole Soyinka was to make reparation for the recent verbal attacks that ensued between his supporters and the Nobel laureate.
Referred to as ‘Obidients’, Obi’s supporters disparaged Soyinka on social media after he described them as a threat to the judiciary and recalled warning that their conducts could cost the LP candidate the February 25 election.
The Nigerian playwright had responded to the supporters in a statement titled ‘Fascism on course’, accusing them of generating “a climate of fear” in the country due to how they criticize anyone who dared to disagree with their presidential candidate.
He described Obidients as “one of the most repulsive, off-putting concoctions I ever encountered in any political arena, ” saying their “refusal to entertain corrective criticism, even differing perspectives of the same position has become a badge of honour and certificate of commitment.”
But speaking late Sunday, Obi said his visit to Soyinka “was intended to erase the needless misconceptions about the relationship between the great icon and the OBIdient family”.
Sharing photos from the visit on Twitter, the LP candidate who is challenging the outcome of the presidential election said: “Today, I visited one of Nigeria’s most revered figures and an international literary icon, Prof Wole Soyinka. Prof Soyinka has been a father whom I hold in very high esteem for what he has achieved and stands for in the struggle for a better Nigeria.
“His reputation as a fighter for justice and equity in our society has been legendary and we will NEVER ignore them. I had a very useful and enriching discussion about his aspirations for a better and greater Nigeria, and he shared a lot with me about his dream for a greater and more inclusive Nigeria.
“I reminded the Nobel laureate of the huge price he paid just before the outbreak of the civil war, fighting for the cause of the Igbos.”
Ahead of the presidential election, Soyinka had distanced himself from reports that quoted him as endorsing Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Tinubu was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) but Obi and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), among others, are challenging his victory at the tribunal.