The Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has received the backing of Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka over his defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC)to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Soyinka, insisted that the governor has the right to move, and that no power or force should crucify him for his action.
Though the playwright said he is not campaigning for a party, he insisted that was his position on those who defected from one party to the other.
He said, “I am not campaigning for any party. That is my position on those that leave their party to another. They do it for all kind of reasons. And I do not believe that Ortom, the governor of one of the states, should be crucified by any power or force for taking decision.’’
Prof Soyinka spoke in Lagos during the presentation of his latest work, Interventions VIII.
According to him, he had a letter to Ortom telling him that “As the leader of a state that experienced attacks, you have a right to seek the promise of an alternative means of security for your people because they remain your primary responsibility.
“We are all free over the actual choice of an alternative destination but no one can deny the inalienable entitlement to such action especially when they are provoked by disillusionment and sense of impotence under existing association.
“Suddenly we see the beginning of a heavy-handed campaign, reprisal and unruly circles over your political decision. This goes beyond any immediately-affected state. And alert us all to the threat against uncommon democratic definition and the basic right of free choice of political powers towards its attainment. I can only urge you to remain resilient, unbowed and undeterred.’’
The Nobel laureate also knocked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for investigating the governor, adding that Ortom left his former party ‘‘due to the crisis in the country.’’
“Due to the crisis in the country, someone defected and then the EFCC started chasing him. Does that look like a coincidence or what?’’ Soyinka queried.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews
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