The world-famous Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has come forward to debunk a viral post that has been circulating on WhatsApp, attributing comments to him regarding the upcoming 2023 general elections in Nigeria.
The post claims that Soyinka has endorsed three presidential candidates, namely Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
However, Soyinka has vehemently denied making any such comments, describing the viral post as a product of “twisted minds seeking relevance for their cowardice.” He further emphasized that people should have the courage to put their own names on the comments they make, instead of stealing his identity to confer authenticity to figments of their unscrupulous minds.
Soyinka, known for his unwavering stance on truth and integrity, expressed his frustration with the increasing prevalence of fake news and identity theft on social media. In a statement personally signed by him, he warned that the “increasingly bastardized social media” will eventually set one country after the other on fire, leading to a global conflagration.
This is not the first time Soyinka has had to debunk fake quotes attributed to him. In January, he also refuted a quote on Northern hegemony that was wrongly attributed to him by Prof Bola Akinterinwa. Soyinka described Akinterinwa as a victim of Nigeria’s fake attribution industry, which has now taken on hideous social dimensions.
In February, Soyinka once again found himself having to distance himself from fabricated quotes that were attributed to him castigating former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 elections. He also denied defending Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the same election.
Soyinka, through a statement released by his spokesman, Abiola Owoaje, expressed his disappointment with the person behind the fabrication of these quotes, labeling them as a “peddler of fake news” who is ashamed to use their own name.