Soyinka blows hot: There was nothing to reconcile between me and Peter Obi
Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka on Monday denounced reports in the media of a purported ‘reconciliation’ between him and the Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the last election, Peter Obi.
Obi had paid a visit to Soyinka in Ogun State on Sunday after his supporters had attacked the Nobel laureate for describing Datti Baba-Ahmed’s comment on Channels TV as fascist in nature.
But Soyinka, in a statement on Monday said there was simply no issue to reconcile between him and Obi or with Labour Party.
He said before it gained traction and embarked on a life of its own, he wished to state clearly that the word “Reconciliation”, inserted into some reports of Peter Obi’s visit to him yesterday, Sunday, May 7, was a most inappropriate, and diversionary invocation.
“Let me clarify: I know the entity known as Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party. I can relate to him. I know and can relate to the Labour Party on whose platform he contested elections. There are simply no issues to reconcile between those two entities and myself.
“However, I do not know, and am unable to relate to something known as the “Obidient” or “Obidient Family”. Thus, albeit in a different vein, any notion of Reconciliation, or even relations – positive, negative or indifferent – with such a spectral emanation is simply grasping at empty air,” he said.
The Nobel laureate added that during that meeting, attended by two other individuals only, the word “Reconciliation” was never bruited, neither in itself nor in any other form.
“It simply did not arise. By contrast, there were expressions of “burden of leadership” “responsibility”, “apology”, “pleading”, “formal dissociation from the untenable”, all the way to the “tragic ascendancy of ethnic cleavage”, especially under such ironic, untenable circumstances. Discussions were frank, and creative. The notion of Reconciliation was clearly N/A – Non Applicable. It was never raised,” he stated.
Soyinka said what remained ineradicable from that weekend of orgiastic rave in the social media was the opening up of the dark, putrid recesses in the national psyche that Nigerians liked to pretend did not exist.
“It invited – into minds seeking a grasp on reality – gruesome variations on images from Dante’s Purgatorio. A fathomless pit was exposed, at the bottom of which one glimpsed a throng of the damned, writhing in competitive lust for the largest of the gangrenous ladles in a diabolical broth.
“To peek over the edge of that pit for a prolonged spell was to turn giddy, with a risk of falling into the tureen of inhuman pus. To attempt to navigate one’s way, however gingerly, along a mat spread across the infernal abyss, is an invitation to moral suicide.
“For the serious minded, I call attention to essays I have offered on the theme of Reconciliation based on Truth, and the ethical imperative of Restitution. There will be further elaborations forthcoming in DEMOCRACY PRIMER III – Bookcraft’s INTERVENTION series, now brought forward for publication on June 12, the watershed extorted from the current regime as the nation’s Democracy Day,
“If, from here on, I now comply with entreaties from several valued, genuinely concerned directions, and ignore new provocations, however vile, it is only because I also approve of Mohammed Ali’s strategy of Rope-a-Dope, where blind menace is left flailing hopelessly at the disdainful manifest of Truth,” Soyinka said.
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