Nigerian playwright and novelist, Wole Soyinka has weighed in on the 2023 general elections and described the elections as “not exactly the most edifying exercise that we’ve been through.”
The Nobel laureate spoke on Monday with Channels Television. stated that he was out of the country for some months, but when he returned back to the country, he was bombarded with the most “horrendous narratives’ about the election.
“On arriving, I came in for the World Poetry Day, and immediately, I was bombarded by the most horrendous narratives both before and after the elections,” he said.
“Since then, I’ve also read columns; I’ve seen Nigerian papers for the first time in months, and I didn’t like what I read at all.
“My trust has broken down completely, and even the minimum restraint that we’ve learned to expect from seasoned politicians has been jettisoned completely.”
The literary icon noted that he preferred not to make comments on the electoral process as he was away, though he says it does not mean he was ignorant of what was happening on the home front.
In his estimation, the nation was moving towards a situation, which he says was not planned but one that happened fortuitously, where the existing mold was going to be broken.
“And the signs were there that there would be die-hard opposition to the breaking of that mold,” he said. “Elections should be keenly contested. But I still believe very much in what I call the Fashola Dictum.”
Soyinka quoted former Governor Babatunde Fashola, now Minister of Works and Housing, as saying elections should be like festivals.
“They should be yet another aspect of the festive spirit of humanity—and this was anything but festive,” he said.