Datti-Baba Ahmed, the Vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party has responded to Noble Laureate Wole Soyinka’s open debate challenge.
Recall that the Nigerian playwright had challenged Datti to an open debate following attacks on him by ‘Obidients’ who were not happy with his reaction to Datti’s comments on the February 25 presidential election.
Responding to the challenge, the Head of the Media Obi-Datti campaign team, Mr. Diran Onifade, rejected saying’ It is just not decent.
“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?, he asked.
“One of those who should ordinarily and rightfully be honored as the conscience of the nation, Prof. Soyinka is now criminalizing dissent and infact 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,” Head of Media Obi-Datti campaign team, Mr. Diran Onifade, said in a statement issued on Datti’s behalf, Mr. Onifade continued.
According to him, culturally it is just not decent, their age and accomplishment gaps are 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,” the statement said.