Soyinka Denies Endorsing Tinubu Presidential Ambition, As Dele Momodu, Sam Ohuabunwa, Join Race


 …describes those Saying that as Illiterate Interlopers

Olusola Bello

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Thursday denied throwing his weight behind the presidential ambition of a former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, describing those pushing the narrative as “illiterate interlopers.”

A viral online quote had claimed that the renowned playwright vowed to campaign for Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the run-up to the 2023 general elections.

Purportedly describing the politician as his friend, the fake statement had quoted Soyinka as saying that although he had never involved himself in politics, he was ready to pull his weight to ensure that his, “long time friend in the 1993 NADECO struggle” becomes the next Nigerian leader.”

But Soyinka’s denied the statement credited to him after a similar pushback by the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who was wrongly credited with a fraudulent statement endorsing Tinubu.

Tinubu informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his intention to vie for the Presidency in 202, on Monday, January 10.
However, Soyinka a statement said the viral social media endorsement was fake news, stressing that the originators were public interlopers.

Soyinka added that the thought of 2023 had not even crossed his mind, noting that those who hacked his email to announce his (Soyinka’s) death, were capable of doing anything.

According to the Nobel laureate, the badly written piece, smacked of the same footprints of the person who carried out the last, advising whoever was behind it to find something worthwhile.
“Here we go again. The same boring illiterate public interlopers who lack the courage of their conviction and must steal the identities of their betters.

“One can only hope that the public has learnt to identify fake news and join in the urgent task of exposing and disgracing these despicable touts.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I have not even thought of 2023 much less inserted candidates into coveted positions. The signature of this latest moron is familiar – he or she does not even know the difference between ‘Laureate and Laurel,” Soyinka said.
According to him, the viral message was an ancient forgery being recycled for the umpteenth time.

“Those who pass it round do themselves and their recipients a disservice. Find something worthwhile to occupy your time.
“In any case, we have no business with politics in the land of the dead and the most recent information I have on me is that I died some time last year.

“The email account of the year’s Nobel ‘Laurel’ was hacked by these same agents to publicise my demise, so who is this still politicking WS ‘Laurel?,” he queried.

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday denied throwing his weight behind the presidential ambition of a former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, describing those pushing the narrative as “illiterate interlopers.”

A viral online quote had claimed that the renowned playwright vowed to campaign for Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the run-up to the 2023 general elections.

Meanwhile, the Publisher of Ovation International Magazine, Bashorun Dele Momodu, yesterday, notified the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of his intention to vie for the nation’s top job, saying his decision was aimed at national reconciliation and healing.



Also, at the PDP secretariat to declare his intention to run for the presidency was a pharmacist and PDP member, Sam Ohuabunwa, has also hinted of his presidential run, even as the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyiorcha Ayu, has assured them of level playing field, saying the party had no preferred candidate.

Momodu, while speaking, commended the PDP national chairman for finding time to receive him at a short notice, which he said was evidence of Ayu’s demonstration of his intellectual discipline, s simplicity and cosmopolitan worldview.
He was of the view that the party was fortunate to have such a serious academic and patriot as national chairman at this momentous period in the life of its troubled country, praying God to lead the party from glory to glory.


His words: “The time has come for full reconciliation and forgiveness and a closure of our ugly past. Nigeria urgently requires a reset and a total redirection. With this letter, Sir, I wish to humbly put the speculations to rest by coming to you with every sense of purpose and responsibility.

“In the last few days, there have been widespread speculations about my presidential bid for a second time. I have been greatly humbled by the excitement already generated, which reminds me of how it was 29 years ago, when your good friend and my own adopted father, Chief Moshood Abiola, threw his hat in the ring.
“It is very obvious that Nigerians are eager to restore that promise of hope and the accompanying peace and joy that we lost,” Momodu stated.

He, therefore said, “After due consultations with my family, friends and some stakeholders, I have arrived at the decision to contest the 2023 Presidential election on the platform of our great party, PDP. If selected as the party’s candidate, I hasten to add that this is my personal decision, although I have received advice, encouragement and support from diverse quarters since I started my consultations

“I, therefore, offer myself to the PDP as the best aspirant to turn the fortunes of our esteemed party and our well endowed country around. In this regard, and with a deep sense of humility and profound respect, I urge the party not to consider picking its candidate based on the usual considerations, which had spectacularly failed our country in the past. The mood of the teeming youths, and indeed every patriotic Nigerian, who we need to come out en masse to vote for our party, aligns with this view.
“It is for this reason, that I invite our great party, PDP, to accept that it must search for a veritable flag bearer with the requisite leadership and visionary qualities that Nigerians now earnestly need.

“I’m convinced that the time has come to seriously challenge and dislodge those politicians, who have held our country to ransom by kidnapping, hijacking and destroying the future of our younger generation and generations yet unborn. I’m better prepared now than at the time of my first foray into the fray in 2011, and I am fully ready and certainly capable for the onerous tasks and responsibilities ahead.

Ohuabunwa, while intimating Ayu of his intention to contest for the presidential ticket of the party, said he was coming on board with his wealth of experience as an industrialist and entrepreneur per excellence
“So I am coming to lay the foundation for proper unity of our nation to create a level playing ground, where every child born in every part of this country will have the same opportunity like the other child to achieve his potential the way it happens the United States of America.

“Secondly, the issues in the Southeast are national issues. There’s nothing unique about the Southeast. What is happening in the northwest, what is happening in the south, North East, what is happening in the middle belt – they are all symptomatic of the same problem – foundational issues with Nigeria. And all we need to do is to look at them as national problems, when you look at them as ethnic animal problem, we miss it; they are national problems.

“We need to sit there and say, this was not the way our country was run by the founding fathers of this country. They organised this country in a manner that allowed for mutually satisfying relationship. A relationship that is normal, actually satisfying, including the marriage is starting to break down. So, don’t pretend about it,” he said.

In response, Ayu assured them that, “There will be a level playing field for all candidates. We don’t have any special candidate; we don’t have a preferred candidate. It is the party members, who will decide and if at the end of the day, the party members vote for you that you are the one they want, we will queue behind you.

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