Politics Updated: April 09, 2023

2023 Presidency: Why Baba-Ahmed Will No Longer Debate Soyinka

By Sydney Elike
April 09, 2023

The much-anticipated debate between Wole Soyinka and Labour Party's Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed will no longer take place as the latter has revealed why he won't accept the former's challenge.

Soyinka challenged the vice presidential candidate over his warning that the President-elect, Bola Tinubu should not be sworn in on May 29.

According to the renowned Nobel Laureate, Baba-Ahmed's words are reminiscent of those of a fascist.

On why Soyinka's challenge has been ignored, Baba-Ahmed's media office stated that it is bewildered by the writer's late intervention on issues surrounding the 2023 elections.

While questioning his whereabouts in recent times, the statement said the writer is now weighing in the side of fraud and injustice.


According to Baba-Ahmed, he cannot take up Soyinka's offer because of cultural and political reasons.

"Like many Nigerians, we are bewildered by the late-hour intervention of our respected Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka in issues around the flawed 2023 elections.

"Where was he all this while? One of those who should ordinarily and rightfully be honoured as the conscience of the nation, Prof. Soyinka is now criminalising dissent and in fact weighing in on the side of fraud and injustice!

"We state therefore that the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed cannot take up Prof. Soyinka’s offer of a public debate, not out of cowardice, but for cultural and political reasons.

"Culturally it’s just not decent, their age and accomplishment gaps taken into account, for Datti to sit opposite the 88-year-old global icon and point out his folly to his face, even if the old man called for it.


"And politically there is no basis for such a challenge in that Prof. is not on any of the opposite ballots.

"If however, he can use his influence to drag his preferred candidates, who resisted debates throughout the campaign, to the studio this second, Datti says he is more than willing to take them on", the statement reads.

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Sydney Elike

Sydney is a graduate of Theatre Arts, a writer, a movie buff, an avid reader, a video game enthusias...

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