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Soyinka expresses disappointment in 2023 polls

Prof Wole Soyinka

Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has expressed his disappointment regarding the recently-concluded 2023 elections.
In an interview with Channels Television’s Roadmap 2023, which aired on Monday, the author said the polls were “not exactly the most edifying exercise that we’ve been through.”
He revealed that although he had been out of the country for some months, the news he met on his return were “horrendous” and unpleasant.
“On arriving, I came in for the World Poetry Day, and immediately, I was bombarded by the most horrendous narratives both pre and after the elections,” he said.

“Since then, I’ve also read columns; I’ve seen Nigerian papers for the first time in months and I didn’t like what I read at all.”
The playwright further stated that his trust in the system has “broken down completely” especially as politicians could not exercise “restraints” in their actions.
“My trust has broken down completely and even the minimum restraint that we’ve learnt to expect from seasoned politicians has been jettisoned completely,” he continued.
Quoting the current Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Soyinka stated that even though elections are contests, they should be carried out like festivals.
“Elections should be keenly contested. But I still believe very much in what I call the Fashola Dictum.
“They should be yet another aspect of the festive spirit of humanity – and this was anything but festive,” he said.
The Presidential and National Assembly elections which were held on February 25, as well as the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections which were held in March 2023, were marred by reports of widespread violence, voter intimidation, and logistics issues among others.

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