Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has asked Nigerians to be wary of a former President who is pretending to be the nation’s conscience.
Backstory: Soyinka said this at a symposium on fake news organized by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Abuja on Jan. 9th.
Soyinka, one of the panelists at the event, urged the traditional media not to act like the electronic media by spreading unfounded allegations.
While reflecting on the effect of fake news ahead of the elections in February, Soyinka warned Nigerians to be wary of a ‘former President’ who continues to pretend to be the conscience of the nation.
He said if the former leader had been referring to a certain person for eight years as a devil and has now told Nigerians to vote for the said devil, then there is a need for Nigerians to express some doubt.
Soyinka said, “We have got to develop a very healthy skepticism. If someone in a position of power for eight years has lectured a nation for eight years and continued year after year to direct the minds of a whole nation in one direction only saying ‘this is Lucifer from hell’ for eight years in office and several more years out of office saying this is Lucifer and then one day he changed his left hand and says behold your redeemer, which of the two is fake news?”
Although not explicitly stated, Soyinka would have been speaking about the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who until recently, had described former Vice President and presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar as very corrupt and saying that God would not forgive him if he supported Atiku’s presidential bid.
However, late last year, Obasanjo changed his mind, saying he had forgiven Atiku and has since urged Nigerians to vote for the former Vice-President.