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FACT CHECK: Did Wole Soyinka say Tinubu’s govt lacks legitimacy?



Soyinka defends Gov Ortom

CLAIM: Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, said Tinubu’s government lacks legitimacy.



A post on Nigeria’s microblogging platform, Nairaland, reads: “Tinubu’s government lacks legitimacy”, and the statement was attributed to Professor Soyinka.

The post carries a screenshot of a post from another platform with the headline atop Soyinka’s portrait. The headline reads: “Supreme Court Verdict: Tinubu wins legal victory but lacks legitimacy.” Comments under the post show that many people believed it while some questioned its veracity. Hence, our resolve to fact check.

READ ALSO:FACT CHECK: Did a security task force arrest thugs linked to SDP candidate in Kogi election?

Recall that the Supreme Court, on October 26, 2023, upheld the victory of President Bola Tinubu while dismissing petitions by opposition parties against the election.


Ripples Nigeria found that the screenshot attached to the post on Nairaland was taken from a post on Business Day’s website. After reading the article, we found that it is an opinion piece by the writer, Olu Fasan, and nowhere in the piece did he attribute any claim to Wole Soyinka.

However, Soyinka’s picture was used as the featured image in the post, and the writer alluded to a literary work published by Soyinka in 2021. Fasan described the novel, titled: “Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth” as a foreshadowing of the 2023 general elections.

Part of the article reads: “Professor Wole Soyinka, Africa’s first literature Nobel laureate, published his critically-acclaimed novel, Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth, in September 2021. So, he probably did not have the 2023 presidential election and Bola Tinubu, who emerged as president, in mind when he wrote the book. However, reading the novel, one gets the impression that Professor Soyinka foreshadowed the election and its aftermath.”

The writer, claimed, in his opinion, that the last presidential election was flawed and that the Tinubu government lacks legitimacy despite the victory at the Supreme Court

His allusion to Soyinka’s novel in the article, may have informed the use of Soyinka’s picture as the featured image in the post.


Nowhere and at no time, so far did Professor Wole Soyinka say the Tinubu government lacks legitimacy.

By Olúwatóbi Ọdé̩yínká:

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