I’m yet to meet Tinubu – Soyinka

Wole Soyinka

Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka has said he is yet to meet with President Bola Tinubu, thus could not have raised the issue of the detained atheist Mubarak Bala.

Bala is serving a 24-year prison sentence for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad. The president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria renounced his Islamic faith in 2014.

In 2022, a Kano State High Court found him guilty of blasphemy two years after he was arrested.

At the launch of “A Letter to a President,” last week, Soyinka pledged to help deliver Bala’s open letter to the president when the opportunity comes.

But the professor, in a statement on Tuesday, said he had not delivered the letter to Tinubu because they were yet to meet.

Soyinka said he had been bombarded by both local and international human rights organisations, with inquiries about the outcome of delivering the letter to the president.


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In his words: “Thanks to my pledge to seize the first opportunity to personally deliver a signed copy of the recently launched Appeal by the above Prisoner of Conscience, Mubarak Bala, to President, I have been bombarded by both local and international Human Rights organisations, with inquiries about the outcome.

“I regret to state that some media have completely misreported this, and I have yet to meet the current tenant of Aso Rock.”

He called on all those who participated in the August 5 launch of the document as well as well-wishers of Bala to “continue and indeed intensify their efforts, through whatever avenues, to secure the release of this unjustly persecuted youth whose only crime was to insist on his freedom of thought and belief, and its expression.”