The Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Datti Baba-Ahmed has rejected the open debate challenge from Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka due to cultural and political reasons.
Datti responded to Soyinka’s challenge through the Head of Obi-Datti Media Office, Diran Onifade on Saturday.
Soyinka had earlier condemned Datti’s inciting statement on Channels TV some weeks ago and also released a letter to Peter Obi supporters popularly known as the ‘Obidients’ over their response to his interview condemning Datti.
The statement reads: “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.”