Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has demanded that the Islamic authorities in the country remove Prof Ibrahim Maqari, the Deputy Chief Imam of Abuja’s National Mosque, for supporting the lynching of Deborah Samuel Yakubu, a Christian student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto State, by her colleagues.
“Of course we are not all to be found within the same terrain of sensibilities – absolutely no! And that has been demonstrated most vividly by the very nature of responses that have been exacted after the nation’s recent exercise in human sacrifice. The nation’s president, traditional rulers – among them the Sultan of Sokoto who also serves as the Amir of Nigerian moslems, women organizations, workers’ unions and professionals from all walks of life, young and old, have raised their voices in accents of apology and condemnation. However a glorified cleric, no less than the Grand Vizier of the iconic Mosque of the nation’s capital, Abuja, has inserted a dissenting voice.
“Professor Imam Ibrahim Maqari however insists, with a handful of others including a vocal serving policeman quite recently, that there is no remorse attached to the torture and lynching of a young student on this earth we all share. To anyone who cares to listen, Maqari has implicitly directed his followers to take the law into their own hands in the name of religion, and in a nation beset on all sides by wars of ultra-nationalism and religious fanaticism. That is the message of a supposedly holy man to youths, to us, his message to a nation embroiled in a madness of multiple insurgencies.
“The Grand Seer of Abuja mosque should be hounded from office. He should be tried under any existing laws that approximate hate rhetoric, incitement to murder and abuse of office.”