The choice of a same faith ticket by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 presidential election is controversial, avoidable and ill-timed, according to Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka.
Soyinka stated this while fielding questions in an interview with Channels TV anchor, Ladi Akeredolu-Ale.
The Nobel Laureate who spoke on a wide range of issues, noted that he may not “give a damn if the president, vice president, speaker, etc come from the same village, have the same religion, belong to the same tribe,” but Nigeria is not ready for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
He added that political leaders should have been sensitive to the peculiarity of the Nigerian society in taking a decision on the candidates of the party.
According to Soyinka, “we’re talking about a society which is normal, where situations are normal. Is this society normal? Even the military seems to recognize the need to express the plurality, not only of ethnic groups or faith in their governance.
“We are in the midst of a crisis with faiths of distrust – ethnic distrust, religious distrust, class distrust and anything which can be done or any action which can be avoided so that this kind of distrust is not exacerbated, I think politicians should seize the opportunity of not exacerbating the debate.”
Speaking further about the controversy generated from the APC’s decision, the Nobel Laureate noted that “we’ve had almost by unspoken arrangement, a recognition of the peculiarity of this particular society. And so, it shouldn’t surprise you or me that a number of people find that kind of choice very questionable and unwise, especially at this time.”
Continuing, he said “I recognize the right of the proposed incumbent to choose who he wants to run with, that right is there, however that right is also not absolute because we are talking about a very relative society which Nigeria is right now.
“And so, we are in a very difficult situation and the question I ask is, why create a controversy? Are there options which would have prevented such a controversy as they say in certain societies, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. And if that kind of arrangement has proven not to be malfeasant for the society, why tamper with it? Why not be sensitive to the very peculiar circumstances of Nigeria?”