The Obi-Datti Media Office has rejected the offer by Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, to debate the vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Datti Baba-Ahmed, on live television.
According to a statement by the Obi-Datti Media Office, Baba-Ahmed won’t accept the challenge to face Soyinka for cultural and political reasons.
The statement was issued following Soyinka’s criticism of Baba-Ahmed’s stance on the February 25 presidential election.
The statement read, “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 infact weighing in on the side of fraud and injustice!
“We state, therefore, that the vice-presidential candidate of 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.”