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Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has disclosed that he will not be supporting the presidential candidates of either of Nigeria’s two major parties – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – adding that they are only worthy of “absolute rejection” as the country needs a new direction.
President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking re-election under the platform of the APC in next month’s presidential election, while former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the PDP has indicated strongly his intention to dethrone Buhari in what seems to be a two-horse race.
However, the foremost playwright while speaking with Nigerians at the Citizen Forum, an interactive session that was held at the Freedom Park, Lagos, on Thursday, said “it is time for a totally new direction, and when an alternative emerges, we will give the candidate our backing.”
His words: “It is time for a totally new direction, and when an alternative emerges, we will give the candidate our backing.
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me make my position quite clear because I don’t want any ambiguity; I Wole Soyinka will not be voting for either the two so-called contesting parties. I find both of them worthy of absolute rejection.
“For a number of reasons which I will not go into here, I’m not interested in a comparative assessment. My position is simply that it is time for a totally new direction. And obviously, I’m not the only one; as I’m speaking, there is a coalition having its meeting in Lagos from which they hope to produce a consensus candidate.
“There is another group meeting in Abuja, also at the end would send us their consensus candidate. Things have been going on quietly in the background to try and change the direction of this nation in a very positive way, and to make the public understand that they do not have to be enslaved permanently to the old discredited order. It is my sole business in this election.
“I don’t believe in what is called negative vote, which means, for me, throwing your vote in a waste basket, I believe instead in a creative vote, not a protest vote, not a negative vote but a creative vote. And a creative vote means that the will to at least sow a seed through your vote that will germinate eventually. The pace of germination is beyond the control of everyone, but it is never too early to make a beginning. It has happened before in other societies. When a dark horse emerges from nowhere and trumps all the political juggernauts caterpillars and so on with their performers, worthless, their capacity for violence and treachery.”
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