Nigeria’s foremost playwright and noble prize winner, Prof Wole Soyinka, says he will not support presidential candidates of either of the two major parties.
He said this at an ongoing interactive session tagged citizen forum 2019.
“It is time for a totally new direction, and when an alternative emerges, we will give the candidate our backing,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are the two leading candidates.
The octogenarian said it is time to change the direction of the country in a positive way.
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me make my position quite clear because I don’t want any ambiguity; I Wole Soyinka will not be voting for either the two so called contesting parties. I find both of them worthy of absolute rejection,” he said.
“For a number of reasons which I will not go into here, I’m not interested in a comparative assessment. My position is simply that it is time for a totally new direction. And obviously, I’m not the only one, as I’m speaking, there is a coalition having its meeting in Lagos from which they hope to produce a consensus candidate.
“There is another group meeting in Abuja, also at the end would send us their consensus candidate. Things have been going on quietly in the background to try and change the direction of this nation in a very positive way, and to make the public understand that they do not have to be enslaved permanently to the old discredited order. It is my sole business in this election.
“I don’t believe in what is called negative vote which means, for me, throwing your vote in a waste basket, I believe instead in a creative vote, not a protest vote, not a negative vote but a creative vote. And a creative vote means that the will to at least sow a seed through your vote that will germinate eventually. The pace of germination is beyond the control of everyone, but it is never too early to make a beginning. It has happened before in other societies. When a dark horse emerges from nowhere and trumps all the political juggernauts caterpillars and so on with their performers, worthless, their capacity for violence and treachery.”
He added that the reason they are yet to arrive at a consensus candidate was because the supposed genuine third force was hijacked.