Award winning author Chimamanda Adichie has reacted to recent comments by Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, describing remarks by Labour Party vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed as fascistic.
Speaking during a chat on AriseTV on Monday, Adichie said there is nothing fascistic about Baba-Ahmed’s comments.
He opined that if there is anyone that should be slammed with the label of fascist then it is INEC and those who were supposed to speak against the violence and atrocities that took place during the elections but kept quite.
She “I have a lot of love for Prof. Soyinka. I admire him. I respect him as a thinker, as a writer. I think everyone should read The Man Died . And actually, Ake, his memoir is beautiful. But at the same time, I disagree very strongly with him about this particular issue. And actually, because I respect Prof Soyinka so much, I went back and watched the interview.
“I had watched it when it aired initially but I went back and watched it because I thought I was missing something. And I think fascist is a really strong word… And I did not see any reason that Mr Datti Baba-Ahmed in that interview would have been termed fascist.
“You know, I think he (Baba-Ahmed) was making a very strongly-felt point about the elections. What he was saying, which again, I thought seemed fairly reasonable is that if our democracy is rooted in our constitution and you then swear in a person who’s been elected unconstitutionally, then you’re in fact, ending democracy.
“…And so I just didn’t quite see why it would be termed fascism. I think it’s fair to say that he, Prof Soyinka himself is not given to restraint in language in general, and so maybe that’s where that word fascist came from.
“However, I have suggestions for what we could use fascist for, we could use fascist for INEC, because as it is right now, many Nigerians feel deeply cheated by INEC, deeply disenfranchised by INEC, and that is authoritarianism which obviously is the basis of fascism at the centre of manipulating an election because what you’re doing is that you’re gagging people, you’re forcibly taking away their voice, that is fascist,” she posited.