Abuja: Africa's first Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has announced plans to launch a political party in Nigeria, which he hopes would draw its membership from Nigerians who are dissatisfied with the political status quo.
76-year-old Soyinka, who has been at the forefront of criticisms and demonstrations against corruption in the oil rich African country, said he wants to deviate from his role as an observer to that of a participant by collaborating with "progressive forces".
The prolific writer, who won a Nobel Prize for literature in 1986, said his party's name would be Democratic Front for Peoples Federation (DFPF).
"I hope that with enough people behind me, we can unseat the ruling People's Democratic Party," he told his audience.
He said the leadership of Nigeria has left the 150 million people in penury and embezzled the country's oil resources.
Nigeria is preparing for a major election next year and this is preceded by a Constitution amendment which citizens hope would give greater space for wider participation in politics.
The most populous African country returned to civil rule in 1999 after many years of military rule and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won election at the federal level. They also won election in majority of the states but observers say the elections are rigged.
President Goodluck Jonathan has promised to avoid election rigging in the next election and appointed a radical university vice-chancellor, Professor Attahiru Jega as the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a body that conducts election in the country.
First Published: Thursday, July 22, 2010, 12:15