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Soyinka – I am not a member of any Conveners’ Council or Third Force

The Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said he actually supports any move that would wrestle power from the two major political parties in the country but he does not belong to the group called the Third Force or any Conveners’ Council.

Prof. Soyinka, in a statement he issued on Sunday, said he is, however, collaborating with various groups to achieve their collective goal.

“I am not a member of any Conveners’ Council or Third Force,” he said.

Soyinka said; “There is cooperation among several groups and individuals on various levels, but it is essential to clarify that my interventionist role is clarified so as not to compromise my own objective preferences which will be made only after Citizen Forum has concluded its own line of inquiry and guided itself accordingly.

“We are all collaborating, monitoring and collating preferences, acting in the same cause, aspiring to a creative and effective convergence, but in full respect for the independence of action of the various groupings.”

The Third Force is a political movement formed to provide Nigerians an alternative to the ruling All Progressives Congress and the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party.

Prof. Soyinka’s clarification came days after he condemned the two major parties, saying they are worthy of “absolute rejection” in the coming elections.

In his statement on Sunday, he also disowned newspaper reports that conferred on him membership of the Alliance for the Defence of Democracy, dedicated – among other aims – to identifying a consensus candidate ahead of the presidential election.

He said he did not attend the group’s meeting at the Sheraton Hotel on January 31, where the founders officially unveiled their mission.

“I was invited, but I did not attend,” Mr Soyinka said.

“I must state, however, that I fully endorse, and have encouraged the efforts of ADD and of other similarly motivated groups to identify a candidate to take the battle to the two parties currently monopolizing the political space and throw up a viable challenger for the occupancy of Aso Rock.

“Indeed, at the meeting convened by Citizen Forum at Freedom Park, coincidentally on that very day and time – I took pains to inform my audience of the ongoing meeting of the ADD, and its commendable purpose.

“I also mentioned the meeting of yet another group in Abuja which had been holding for over two days.”

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