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FACT CHECK: Did Soyinka endorse Tinubu for 2023 presidency?

FACT CHECK: Did Soyinka endorse Tinubu for 2023 presidency?
November 05
11:42 2021

A quote attributed to Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, saying he would involve himself in politics and campaign for Bola Tinubu, national leader of All Progressive Party (APC), in 2023 has been circulating on social media.

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Tinubu, former governor of Lagos state, has not officially declared intentions to vie for the 2023 presidency, but his associates have begun campaigns for him.

The viral statement quoted the playwright to have described Tinubu as his long-time friend.

Attached to the quote is a photoshopped picture of the duo. The image and quote were shared on some groups and personal accounts on Facebook.

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“I have never involve myself in politics or campaign for any politician, but in 2023 I will involve in politics and campaign for longtime friend in 1993 Nadeco struggle. Nobel Laurel Professor oluwole soyinka,” the post read.

A Facebook group, “Concerned Nigerians 4 BAT”, posted the statement on its page with over 4,000 followers on November 3. The post has so far garnered over 100 shares and 30 comments.

VERIFICATION

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To begin with, the quote allegedly made by the playwright contains some grammatical errors. “I have never involve myself” is an incorrect statement. The correct verb should be “involved”.  Also, Soyinka was referred to as a “Nobel Laurel”, instead of laureate.

Second, none of the users who posted the quote stated their source(s). A keyword search by TheCable gave no result on where or when the professor made the statement.

This is not the first time that Soyinka has been quoted to have endorsed Tinubu politically. In 2015, the Nobel laureate denied a similar statement attributed to him.

TheCable contacted one of Soyinka’s aides who confirmed that the writer never made such a statement. He added that the statement should be ignored as the playwright is not active on social media.

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VERDICT

The social media posts claiming Soyinka endorsed Tinubu is false.

 

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This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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