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Baba-Ahmed Warns Soyinka Over Comments on Peter Obi

In a heated exchange of words, former Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, has issued a stern warning to Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka. Baba-Ahmed criticized Soyinka’s recent comments, which questioned the suitability of Peter Obi, the LP’s presidential candidate, to lead Nigeria.

Soyinka, a renowned literary figure and social critic, had previously stated that Obi’s inability to control his supporters, dubbed “Obidients,” who aggressively attack opposing views online, demonstrates his unfitness for the presidency. He accused Obi of implicitly encouraging this online hostility, further asserting that this behavior reflects poorly on Obi’s leadership capabilities.

In a televised response on Arise Television, Baba-Ahmed defended his principal, arguing that Soyinka’s remarks were a deliberate distraction. He suggested that Soyinka’s criticisms stemmed from a fear of the positive changes Obi could bring to Nigeria, which would mark the end of what Baba-Ahmed termed “bad governance.”

“The learned elder statesman, Prof. Wole Soyinka, is scared in advance about what good Peter Obi will bring to Nigeria. He’s scared in advance that the end is still looking very likely for his principal, for bad governance,” Baba-Ahmed stated.

Baba-Ahmed emphasized that engaging in a public dispute with Soyinka was not productive. “What Wole Soyinka is doing now is an attempted distraction, which I beg you to excuse me from joining issues with Wole Soyinka, please. You and I have much better things to do.”

He expressed his sorrow over Soyinka’s persistent criticisms, indicating that his response would be to grieve internally and pray for the Nobel Laureate. “If he continues to do that, all I can do is to grieve in my heart and continue to pray for him,” Baba-Ahmed remarked.

In his defense of Obi, Baba-Ahmed stressed that intellect should not be used as a tool for insulting others, recalling past instances where Soyinka had verbally attacked prominent figures like the late General Abacha. “I remember this Soyinka insulting late General Abacha, insulting him to the core that he was daft. Nothing gives him the right to do that. Abacha was not an academic. He was a soldier for God’s sake. And a good soldier in his own way in his own right.”

Baba-Ahmed also highlighted the societal expectations of Nobel Laureates, noting that they are generally cherished and respected by their people. He argued that it was Soyinka’s responsibility to maintain his dignity and respect, rather than placing that burden on Peter Obi. “Nobel Laureates are loved and cherished by their people. Soyinka keeps getting insulted, and it is his responsibility to maintain his dignity and respect, not Peter Obi’s.”

The former VP candidate concluded with a veiled warning, stating, “I could say a few things to Wole Soyinka that could destroy him for good, but I wouldn’t say that.” This cryptic remark hints at deeper underlying tensions and potential conflicts within Nigeria’s political landscape.

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