Controversial Anambra cleric, Chukwuemeka Ohanaemere popularly known as Prophet Odumeje has reportedly offered to take the place of Labour Party Vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, in a one-on-one debate suggested by Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.
Baba-Ahmed had stated in an interview on Channels TV that whoever swears in the president-elect, Bola Tinubu on May 29 has “ended democracy” in Nigeria. Soyinka, however, addressed as “fascistic”, Datti-Ahmed’s utterance and went ahead to challenge him to a debate.
“A climate of fear is being generated. The refusal to entertain corrective criticism, even differing perspectives of the same position has become a badge of honour and certificate of commitment.
What is at stake, ultimately is – Truth, and at a most elementary level of social regulation: when you are party to a conflict, you do not attempt to intimidate the arbiter, attempt to dictate the outcome, or impugn, without credible cause, his or her neutrality even before hearing has commenced. That is a ground rule of just proceeding. Short of this, Truth remains permanently elusive.
“I offer myself willing to engage Mr Datti – or any nominee of his – on its platform on this very bone of contention – one-on-one – without the malodorous intervention of media trolls, and with the same interviewer as mediator. That should be taken as a serious offer,” the novelist said in part.
However, Odumeje, who was said to have spoken in a video, noted that since neither him nor Soyinka were on the ballot, it would be right to him to take up the challenge. The clergyman said; “The idea of seeking to debate with Datti-Ahmed who was on the ballot in the February 25 presidential election is funny.
As someone who knows how to provide some relief and who was also not on the ballot for that election, I’m the most appropriate person to debate with you. Pick a date and I will be there.”
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