Why I Formed New Political Party —Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka said he formed a new political party, the Democratic Front for People Federation, DFPF so that the progressives could rally together to dethrone the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

Soyinka officially launched the party at his 76th birthday lecture yesterday in Lagos, Nigeria, saying that those who felt they were in the wrong party could come forward to join the new political party as it strategises for next year’s elections.

According to him, the party would represent a vehicle of collaboration for progressive forces, adding that the party would hold its first convention on 25 September, 2010.

The Nobel laureate had lamented that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC under former Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu had frustrated his earlier efforts to get the party registered during the last elections.

“Iwu probably acting on the instructions of his employers frustrated and denied the party recognition over the years, but today it is a reality,” Soyinka stated.

“The party is strictly for those who have nowhere to lay their heads, those who have discovered that they are in the wrong political party, progressives in political parties including those in the People’s Democratic Party who have the zest for positive

service,” he added.

Soyinka said the party would provide a viable political platform for its members, adding that despite opposition, the party had come to stay, saying that a group of people had been working together in the last few years to set up the party.

At the event, former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu urged Nigerian youths to rise to the challenges of national rebirth.

In his lecture titled, Nigeria at 50: Crises of a Nation, Ribadu called on Nigerian youths to rise to the challenges of national rebirth, saying the Nigerian project is not a lost cause.

According to him, though Nigeria had missed the mark on many scores in terms of nation building, it was not too late to redirect the course, adding that many nations that had reached the brink of rupture and disintegration “have been able to survive on account of dogged will for collective redemption and with the opportunity of an imaginative leadership.”

Citing Tanzania and Somalia as examples of nations with ethnic and religious diversity on one hand, ethnic and religious homogeneity on the other, the former EFCC boss said while Tanzania, with ethnic and religious diversity, had remained the most stable and peaceful land in the region, Somalia, in spite of its homogeneity in ethnic and religious experience, “has become the foster child of the very example of a veritable failed and rogue state.”

“At this proper beacon of a jubilee anniversary, I want to strongly challenge fellow compatriots in this hall and outside it, to make a pledge of honour on how to give our federal experiment and our democracy a makeover that is mediated by equity, rule of law and transparent sense of justice, and above all, a sincere commitment to build a modern multicultural Nigeria,” Ribadu said.

He lamented that “the boundless energies of our people, the enviable spirit of our youth and the lush resources of our environment all lay in waste and abuse, increasing our embarrassment to see what we are offering the nation, the continent and humanity as the product of labour from the largest black nation on the planet.”

“A nation that produced the likes of Chinua Achebe, Oladele Awojobi, Chike Obi, Bala Usman, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Murtala Mohammed cannot agonize for lack of models. A nation that also threw up the examples of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Oby Ezekwesili, Sefi Atta and Adichie Chimamanda cannot be said to be deficient in super-brands. Above all, however, the nation that produced the towering presence of Wole Soyinka will lose a rational argument if it pleads the absence of heroes as the basis of failure of Africa’s largest state,” he said.

According to him, “if a new vision is not allowed to take over our political space, 50 years of our federalism and less of our democracy pose the challenge of what can be an endless rite of passage.”

He added that in order to avert this danger, young Nigerians must take the responsibility and accountability for leadership of the country from now on.

“From industry, through civil society to the world of research and development, towards the important crucible of leadership, politics and management of development, I call on fellow young Nigerians today to bury the preoccupation with anger, cynicism and inertia and move in the direction of taking control of the destiny of our nation,” he said.

“I feel a great sense of optimism in spite of the obstacles. That is the power of youth. This nation has had its great and low moments, but that is true of all lands in the world. The energy to draw now from those great moments are embedded in our youth, it is demonstrated in the feat we accomplish when we do great deeds and score remarkable goals at home and abroad,” added Ribadu.

Commending Professor Wole Soyinka for his contributions to the political advancement of the nation, Ribadu declared, “Few men in our history epitomise that sense of investment to community than Professor Soyinka. His life work, either as an artiste or public intellectual or even community activist, has been defined by untainted sense of integrity, selflessness and excellence.

“I call on all here today, and the younger generation in particular, to thank him for all he has done for our country and for always being our conscience and missioner for truth and justice, but for which he has suffered exile, death threats and wanton abuse. Here, truly, is one god that made a pantheon.”

Ribadu also disclosed that not less than $15billion (N2.2 trillion) was recovered from the foreign accounts of public office holders in 2006, adding also that over $10 billion (N1.5 trillion) was moved out of the country into foreign accounts in 2005 immediately after federal allocation was shared among the states.

He said that the money recovered during his time as the EFCC boss was used in the bank recapitalisation exercise in 2006 as well as boost the capital market in the country, including the banking sector.

President, National Association of Seadogs, Mr. Emmanuel Bassey said the celebration of Soyinka by the association was not only because of his 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, “but especially for his life long struggle for justice and peace.”

“Behind his works, through his words and beyond them, he has constructed for over half a century a carapace of scrutiny of the machinery of governance. He has done this so often at great personal risk,” he said.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga
 Originally Reported By PM News, Lagos


98 comment(s)
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we forget to easily

let us not forget that gani did the same thing by forming a new party and fighting for the registration of other political parties. Personally i think the political parties are already to much and many of them are just like registered NGO. I think there has to be a collaboration between more than 2 or 3 of these parties in other to be able to challenge the ruling PDP.
Anyway i am overjoyed by the enthusiasm shown by Nigerians both at home and abroad concerning the coming elections. Please spread the word votes can actually count as it was shown in Ondo an Edo states. Let us take back our country from these vampires

Just as much as I respect Kongi and his struggle for justice in the country, I will never align my thoughts to a party that has Ribadu as his presidential candidate.Soyinka should be very, very careful not to make the same mistakes, late Gani made by thinking the masses will whole-heartedly support him-just because of his past sacrifices for the nation.If for nothing, a foundation for a solid opposition has been laid but certainly not with Ribadu-he is a weakling-a capitalist stooge.

Bravo the King of kongi for this bold step. How do we register?

Bravo the King of kongi for this bold step. How do we register?

RSVP is the magic formula for 2011 and beyond in NIgeria.
RSVP means:
Scrutinize candidates,
Vote your conscience ,
Protect your vote.

@ Profet..You mentioned Maximus twice in your post, you must like that name..ha.ha..Look you can be civil in your contributions and still make your points.

Can't you see how Niger Deltean responded? I directed my comments to him, yet he responded with civility, that is a mark of a respectable human being. We will all

have divergent views and we should all be able to air them without being disrespectful to others. Anyway, I'm not Ribadu and I don't see the connection in any of my

posts and you can't prevent me from expressing my opinions, yours are always welcomed, that's how democracy works. Unless you're one of the ones oppressing my

people and you don't want their voices to be heard..If you're truly a progressive, let's join hands and save our country but know that people will always have different

opinions even those with the same ideology and you must be able to tolorate that..Peace.

@ And as for Ribadu you fools keep knocking him down, I wonder what you people have achieved for Nigeria except posting useless comments on SR.- AbdulNingin.

It's sad you have to resort to ugly lauganges to drive home your point. While I would not join you on this show of shame without any modicum of self respect and unintelligent manner for public debate,it would serve you better to educate yourself by borrowing a leaf from other rational commentators here to appreciate the need for divergent views being the hallmark of multi party democracy. Your name calling notwithstanding,I wont be cowed to accept your cheap hero,Ribadu as among Nigeria progressive politicians.In the short list of progressive with due respect to Soyinka struggle amidst his shortcomings,Ribadu does not make that list.

OC, thanks for reminding forgetful Nigerians of Buhari's true colours. There's nothing on the ground to show that Buhari is not a jihadist. And talking of his regime, he was a man who for no patriotic reason whatsover cancelled the Lagos metroline initiative of the civilian government of Lagos State even though the funding was not by the Federal Govt. Now, add to that his deafening silence on June 12 and his acceptance to serve the general- looter-commanding (glc) sanni abacha, as chairman of PTF. What and where are his national credentials?

@ Supernova:

Thank you, you´re doing a great job. Keep it up! As regards your list of the
"young Turks", I would definitely strike out Oshiomhole! He has discredited himself! He´s an "IBB Boy"! And remember he conned Soyinka to his Edo Rally! Did you see him chilling with Igbinedion and other billionaire rogues in
South Africa during the World Cup?
I don´t know about Donald either! He just squealed! I think such bad eggs should return their stolen wealth and be severely punished for their crimes against the Nigerian people! Or else, nothing changes!




MAXIMUS or what u call ur name,i bet you are ribadu or his brother.i do not like your contribution.if you are not perfect or have been an old wine involved once in corrupt government please get out of SR...point blank.we do not need stinking corrupt mentality contribution here.who told you obama was not perfect to have been elected president.do you know what it takes to become US president?do u think it is like who must come to equity must come with dirty hands as obtains in nations called nigeria?please get your ass off from SR MAXIMUS.i smell you as if u are ribadu here.i do not hate ribadu but he must not have selectively carried out his manipuated duty and come telling us he was clean.it is only a thief that would endure to work for thief.better show us your own loot.

The only way DFPF can make a huge impact and defeat PDP is to go grassroot.
PDP is made up of aristocrats and plutocrats.
Therefore to box PDP to a coner of irrelevance is for DFPF to go purely grassroot.Once DFPF goes grassroot it will be very difficult for PDP to rig the elections.
If PDP venture rig the elections the grassroot will revolt and PDP will resign and allow all the political parties to set up an interim government.
It is very essential that DFPF should be built around the grassroot people.
DFPF should not be built around aristocrats and plutocrats because they beleive in politics of convenience.The grassroot will always defend their votes,

@AU Citizen formerly Biafran Child - YES, YOU CAN! As a Brit, you have dual Nationality, unless you have renounced your Nigerianess.

To the skeptics, stop hating, join this progressive movement and platform, and take your destiny in your hands, or forever stop complaining. Match words with action, and don't only blog on SR. Ribadu made a call for every progressive to join. The party does not (should not) belong to any one individual but all progressives. JOin in, or forever remain silent.

As for the Buhari advocates & supporters - He is not only a religious bigot, but a Sharia disciple. Support Buhari and support Sharia and religious intolerance.



@Niger Deltean, you have failed to realise some good things about Mr Wole Soyinka. Soyinka has been fighting all his life against injustices. I know very well that among those who criticised OBJ the most is Soyinka. I watched many TV interviews and program where OBJ was blasted by this man. To say what you are saying about him is like hiding your head in the sand. Soyinka has been in jail for criticising government many time just like Gani Fawehinmi. If he forms a party, he has the right, if he feels he can make a change through it. And as for Ribadu you fools keep knocking him down, I wonder what you people have achieved for Nigeria except posting useless comments on SR. We want a change in Nigeria, if it is Buari that will bring it, I will give him 100% support and if it is GEJ he has my total support. We are watching as 2011 will not be business as usual.

I am a realist and certainly far from a perfectionist. Neither I am looking for one to manage the affairs of Nigeria. Within the context of this realisation, Gani and Balarade Musa endorsed Gen. Buhari in 2007 haven looked through the list of candidate as they came to the conclusion rating Buhari the best among all. However Soyinka wo obviously was looking for a saint then had his divergent views which he is entitle to being a multi party democracy.If Wole Soyinka had used the same energy he deployed in scuttling Obasanjo UN secretary general ambition in the 90s and same approach towards Abacha goverment was deployed in checking Obasanjo tyrannical and corruption ridden government, our situation would have been different today. Can you see my point? Whatever parameter anyone is using,Ribadu does not represent a progressive to me. He has/will not change the same way Soyinka thinks Buhari has not changed.

@ Niger Deltean - You're looking for a "Saint" a perfect man, where would you find such? Even our beloved Obama, is he perfect?

We are all humans and not perfect in any way and I think you'll always find all of us wanting in one way or the other, but my question to you

is "What's the Alternative?" It's better late than never, if we can all join forces now and take our country back from the brink of complete failure,

why shouldn't we? I think it's worth fighting for and stop pointing fingers, Ok, Gani is dead, may his soul rest in peace, he was a great man, for those that are still

standing, let's carry on Gani's fight!

There are quite a number of rationale, objective and porgressive minded people here whom I respect their views but I smell a rat on this issue and beg to differ with them fundamentally.
Where was Prof. Wole Soyinka in 2003 when Gani (SAN) ran for the presidency?Has late Gani cease to be a prgressive going by the acronym and the new definition?Between the duo,who has stood and work for the over all good of the masses?
Are we saying Balarade Musa progressive ideas have become old fashioned and no longer applicable to modern day Nigeria social political problems? Was that why he was not encourgaged by Prof. Soyinka? Wole Soyinka made good and complimentary statement in favour of Umaru Yaradua prelude to the 2007 elections but was that not an error of judgment looking back today?
I looked at issues dispassionately with an analytical mind.I am not going to be carried away by sentiments.

@Miko, how do you trivialise an issue so serious and important as to equate it to fraternities?

Niga is not a curse, we all need to do our part to take it away from those that have robbed us of our resources for all these years.

Here is a new platform for progressives to join forces and take the country in the right direction. The choice is yours, join us or continue to

complain and do nothing, but mark my word, change is coming and " I believe" and ..YES WE CAN!

@miko & Co - we have been doing the same old thing for the past 50years, but where has it got us. We see only but decadence in every nook and cranny to show for our 50 years of existence.

It is time we try something new. A party that is transparent and stands for CHANGE, holding elected officials accountable to their words. A party where those aspiring for office will be judge by the content and integrity of their heart and not the size and depth of their pockets. Ride on The Kongi, I am onboard.

Any party that is built around the green-snake-in-a green-grass known as Nuhu Ribadu is a failure from day one. Wole Soyinka has nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in common with Nuhu Ribadu. Professor, if yoou're reading: Ribdau will disappoint you. Ribadu will betray you. Pls ask him his relationship with Zakari Biu & Co. Ask him his role during Abacha era. Ask him about his relationship with Obasanjo and Andy Uba. Professor, do not allow Ribadu to tarnish your good name. Leave him to a new generation of youths that cannot tell white from black. Both of you don't belong together.

Dis na confra party. Pirate go control the party from a-z. Bucca go form their own too.Other confras go follow register their parties.Peace that has returned to campuses will disappear, fracas will be everywhere, at every street corner. Naija is curse. Dis na the beginning to an end. Na fight to finish or do or die.Kongi don start another new thing that will be abused. A departing gift to naija. Wise up guys.

The best thing that would happen to this party is to co-opt Buhari. He's the best amongst a few others that could puge this nation of rotten politthiefians.

Can't join or vote as I've British citizenship, but will support any way that I can. This party has no baggage. I'll love it to form a pact with Buhari as he's needed to clean up the rotten mess.

Any efforts aimed at taking the destiny of this great nation away from the thieving PDP is welcome. With Ribadu as the presidential candidates, all progressives in other parties must key in for Nigeria's deliverance. God bless Nigeria.

@Elmango Meat...besides, how does one learn to work, dine and wine with one's parents' murderers? There is this question of justice Nigeria's state has been overlooking. The Igbos of Nigeria are asking that Asaba massacre be investigated together with the pogrom of 1966. Those guilty of that crime against humanity must be brought to book. That way, the dead and the living Igbos will be placated. That way, Nigeria will be initiated into the realm of light.

Soyinka may mean well for floating another party. Guess what? It will end up another shadow chasing.

No comments.

Multiplicity of parties is not the solution to Nigeria problem. Nigeria is corrupt. All the parties have corrupt members in them. One party is enough if it lacks corrupt members. What proof is there that this new party will be corrupt free?

...this is what we have been waiting for,[b]D[/b]estined [b]F[/b]or a [b]P[/b]roven [b]F[/b]uture, DFPF is certainly the way, a light definitely has come out of the dark, i personally will start praying and fasting for Jonathan Goodluck to come join this party, please how do i become a member, i currently out of job,but i am married and i want to be a member.

How do i become a member? pls let registration also be on-line. UP DFPF!!!

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