Obi’s visited the literary icon on Sunday May 7, weeks after his supporters – known as Obidients – tackled Soyinka after the renowned playwright faulted Obi’s running mate, Datti’s comment about the election exercise.
Following the visit, many reports claimed it was a reconciliatory move by Obi towards Soyinka. However, in a statement on Monday evening, May 8, Soyinka said the visit was not for such, adding that the word “reconciliation” as reported in some quarters is an “inappropriate invocation.”
“Before it gains traction and embarks on a life of its own, I wish to state clearly that the word ‘Reconciliation’, inserted into some reports of Peter Obi’s visit to me yesterday, Sunday, May 7, is a most inappropriate, and diversionary invocation,” Soyinka said in a statement he captioned “A visitation and the allure of Reconciliation”.
“Let me clarify: I know the entity known as Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party. I can relate to him. I know and can relate to the Labour Party on whose platform he contested elections. There are simply no issues to reconcile between those two entities and myself.
“However, I do not know, and am unable to relate to something known as the ‘Obidient’ or ‘Obidient Family’. Thus, albeit in a different vein, any notion of Reconciliation, or even relations – positive, negative or indifferent – with such a spectral emanation is simply grasping at empty air.
“During that meeting, attended by two other individuals only, the word ‘Reconciliation’ was never bruited, neither in itself nor in any other form. It simply did not arise.
“By contrast, there were expressions of ‘burden of leadership’ ‘responsibility’, ‘apology’, ‘pleading’, ‘formal dissociation from the untenable’, all the way to the ‘tragic ascendancy of ethnic cleavage’, especially under such ironic, untenable circumstances.
Discussions were frank and creative. The notion of Reconciliation was clearly N/A – Non Applicable. It was never raised.”