A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu, has apologised for describing supporters of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, as “unlettered and uncultured” people.
The banker had in a tweet on Thursday, April 6, 2023, called out those criticising Prof. Wole Soyinka over the latter’s remarks on LP Vice Presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed.
Soyinka drew criticisms from Peter Obi’s supporters known as ‘Obidients’ following his condemnation of the Labour Party Vice Presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, for using what he described as “fascist language.”
Datti had subtly threatened during a controversial interview on Channels Television that democracy will end in Nigeria on May 29, 2023, if Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is sworn in as president.
His argument stemmed from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s declaration of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the president-elect despite calls by some opposition parties to the contrary.
He insisted that Tinubu wasn’t duly elected and would lead an unconstitutional government if sworn into office because he “has not met requirements of the law”.
Reacting in a chat with Arsie TV, the celebrated playwright likened the Labour Party vice presidential candidate’s statements to a “kind of do-or-die attitude and provocation” that ran contrary to democratic disposition.
Soyinka’s criticism generated heated reactions on social media, especially from the camp of the Obidients.
Moghalu in his response to criticisms of Soyinka on Thursday described the revered playwright as a “phenomenon” that “unlettered and uncultured people may not fully understand in an age of lazy social media”.
Meanwhile, Moghalu’s retort was equally met with harsh criticisms by Obi supporters who took serious exceptions to his choice of words.
But, in a series of tweets on Friday, April 7, 2023, the former CBN Deputy Governor apologised for his choice of words which he said could have been misconstrued as a harsh judgement on citizens who are still reeling from the outcome of the just concluded elections.
Moghalu’s tweets read: “In my tweet yesterday on Prof. Wole Soyinka’s comment on Datti Baba Ahmed’s own comments about the 2023 presidential election,I said WS is a principled fighter for justice and a phenomenon “that unlettered and uncultured people may not fully understand in an age of lazy social media in which many don’t read or think deeply.
“I want to apologize FOR THE PHRASE IN QUOTATION MARKS which, on a second thought, can be misconstrued as a harsh judgment on citizens who are hurting from the outcome of the elections.
“That was not my intention. While we all bear responsibility for the words we choose to use (and I have the utmost respect for Prof Soyinka and Dr. Datti-Ahmed), I caution again, however, that there will always be different voices with different beliefs in a democracy.
“These voices are NOT illegitimate simply because we disagree with them or they do not agree either with our political preferences or with whatever manner in which we choose to express our views. This applies across the board to the supporters of ALL the leading candidates.
“This is a difficult time for our country, but I hope we can still be civil and measured even as we may disagree.”
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