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 I didn’t endorse any candidate – Soyinka

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PostSubject: I didn’t endorse any candidate – Soyinka   2015-01-16, 11:16

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka,
on Thursday dismissed claims that
he had endorsed some politicians
as his presidential and
governorship candidates ahead of
the February elections.
Soyinka, in a piece titled, ‘Identity
Thieves and the 2015 Election
Peace Accord,’ warned those
spreading the rumour of his
purported endorsement of
candidates “to be less gullible, and
avoid becoming cheap conduits for
the deception industry.”
He said, “Let me thus seize the
occasion of the Abuja accord to
state categorically that I have never
made a statement endorsing any
presidential or governorship
contestant. All such attributions are
fabrications by faceless, often self-
appointed agents of deception, and
should be publicly pilloried.
“Whenever I choose to declare
support for a candidate – as is my
electoral right – I shall ensure that I
deploy a medium that places my
authorship beyond dispute.”
Reacting to the peace pact signed
by President Goodluck Jonathan
and Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari
(retd.) on Wednesday to ensure
violence-free polls, Soyinka said he
was impressed with the outcome of
the meeting.
He described the pact as a “positive
step in the direction of democracy.”
He commended the efforts of a
former Secretary-General of the
United Nation, Kofi Annan, and a
former Secretary-General of
Commonwealth, Chief Emeka
Anyaoku, in ensuring the success of
the accord.
The Nobel Laureate said if the
peace pact was adhered to with
sincerity, it would ensure a
wholesome space for future
elections and avert further
“It might even come close to what
the democratic ideal should be, as
canvassed by others, including
Governor Babatunde Fashola a few
years ago,” Soyinka added.
He, however, said he was
disappointed that the communiqué
issued after the peace meeting
made no reference to the victims of
political violence.
He said, “From personal interest,
however, I was disappointed that
the communiqué makes no
reference to the violence done to
members of the electorate whose
identities are stolen, abused and
debased during this exercise.
“It is rapidly becoming
commonplace to encounter totally
fictitious statements, even entire
interviews published and
attributed to unsuspecting
authorship. This criminal
proceeding has even involved the
cloning of media mastheads to
which non-existent interviews are
then attached. To render it in local
parlance, this is political 419, and of
the most despicable brand.
“While it would be unjust to place
direct responsibility on the
contestants, one must stress that
they also have a moral
responsibility to denounce these
dirty tricksters in the strongest
terms, even in their own interest.
“The resentment inspired in
victims of such cowardly conduct
cannot but impact on their own
political image. The media must
also protect itself by taking
necessary measures against such
unprincipled confusionists. It is the
democratic right of every citizen to
know exactly who is saying what on
issues that affect their political
“I take a less serious – indeed, near
carnivalesque view of the
opportunistic and sometimes de-
contextualised use of genuine
quotes from statements I have
made in the past – that is a
different matter entirely. As a non-
pensioned writer, however, and
thus dependent on the proceeds of
intellectual property, such users
should expect to hear from my
literary agents.
“I join General Abdulsalami and
others in hoping that 2015 prove a
live-and-learn election year, not a
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