Nobel laureate and playwright, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has called for the sacking of the Chief Imam of Abuja National Mosque, Professor Ibrahim Maqari Yakub, for supporting the gruesome lynching of Deborah Samuel.
Deborah was killed by her colleagues at the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto State, over an alleged blasphemous post on WhatsApp against Islam Prophet Muhammad.
The Imam, himself a professor, had, in a comment on Twitter shortly after the murder of Deborah, said:
“It should be known to everyone that we the Muslims have some red lines beyond which MUST NOT be crossed.
“The dignity of the Prophet (PBUH) is at the forefront of the red lines. If our grievances are not properly addressed, then you should not be criticized for addressing them ourselves.”
But speaking on Saturday night at the one-year remembrance of former late Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a plane crash in Kaduna last year, organised by the Wole Soyinka Foundation in Abuja,
The erudite professor said Yakub was invariably directing his followers to take the law into their hands in the name of religion with his statement.
“In the name of all, while I’ve given all for all, I demand that Professor Ibrahim Maqari should be removed from office. It is no longer sufficient for all to claim that Islam is this and that.
“Maqari has implicitly directed his followers to take the law into their own hands in the name of religion, and innovation, besides being beset on all sides by wars, ultra-nationalism, or religious fanaticism.
“That is the message of a supposedly holy man to the youth, to us. His message to a nation embroiled in this madness of multiple incidences.
“The Prophet Muhammad said this or that good example, admit this or that humanistic pronouncement?
“We’ve gone beyond theocratic rhetoric that merely pays lip service to civilized conduct, that all artistic denunciations be backed by affirmative action.
“But the new generation should also be programmed not to aspire to brutish existence below the lowest common denominator of what constitutes humanity.
“Surely, that is where any self-respecting nation should strive to draw a defining unbridgeable line.
“Professor 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, which we all share to anyone who cares to listen,” Soyinka said while addressing the comments of the Islamic cleric.
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