Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka has called for the sack of the National Mosque imam, Prof Ibrahim Maqari, over his comment on the killing of Deborah Samuel for alleged blasphemy.
Ms Samuel, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was lynched on May 12 for allegedly blaspheming Prophet Muhammad.
Soyinka spoke on Saturday in Abuja during the one-year remembrance of the late former chief of army staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and the launch of Attahiru’s biography written by author, Niran Adedokun.
He accused the Islamic cleric of directing his followers to take the law into their own hands in the name of religion.
Soyinka lamented lynching in the name of religion, adding that the “apostate of the creed of humanity, Professor Maqari, must be removed from office.”
He added, “It is no longer sufficient for all to declaim that Islam is this and that, that the Sharia is thus and thus, that Prophet Mohammed set this or that example and made this or that humanistic pronouncement.
“We have gone beyond theocratic rhetoric that merely pays lip service to civilized norms. Let all pietistic denunciations be backed by affirmative action.”
The playwright noted that the Islamic cleric had done nothing but encourage his followers to kill anyone that blasphemes Prophet Muhammad.
Soyinka added, “Prof Maqari, however, insists, with a handful of others including vocal serving policemen quite recently that there is no remorse involved in the torture and lynching of a young student on this earth.
“Maqari has implicitly directed his followers to take the law into their own hands in the name of religion, and innovation. That is the message of a supposedly holy man to a nation embroiled in his madness of multiple incidences.”