Baba-Ahmed not debating Soyinka out of respect – Campaign office

Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed

The Labour Party’s campaign office has said that Datti Baba-Ahmed will not accept the challenge of Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka for an open debate.

Head of Obi-Datti Media Office Diran Onifade made this known in a statement on Saturday.

Soyinka had accused Baba-Ahmed of pushing for fascism with his comments that the Supreme Court should not swear in President-elect Bola Tinubu on May 29.

Reacting to Soyinka’s challenge for a debate, Onifade said in the statement, “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.”