NOBEL laureate, Wole Soyinka, has urged the Federal Government to remove the Imam of Abuja Mosque, Ibrahim Maqari, from office over his comments following the mob killing of Deborah Samuel, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto.
Soyinka spoke at the launching of the memorial publication on the late Ibrahim Attahiru, a general in the Nigerian Army, yesterday in Abuja.
“That apostate of the creed of humanity, Professor Maqari, must be removed from office,” said Soyinka.
“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.”
Following the killing of Samuel over allegations of blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed, Maqari had justified the action saying Muslims have “some red lines which must not be crossed.”
Soyinka said the cleric should be tried under any existing laws that approximate hate rhetoric, incitement to murder and abuse of office.
“The nation is confronted with just two propositions: One, that the Sultan of Sokoto is right, a position that is daily reinforced by voices stretching from even Zamfara in the north to the southern voice of the Chief Imam of the Yoruba.
“The alternative position is that Professor Ibrahim Maqari is the acknowledged Oracle of Islamic Ethics.
“Between the two, a choice must be made, a choice that is both moral and constitutional. Both the Sultan and Professor Maqafi cannot be right.
“And that choice does not belong to any esoteric domain. It is not grounded in privileged, hermetic caucuses of religious doctrine and interior revelations. It is not subject to spiritual pietism. It is straightforward: either murder is criminal and abhorrent, or it is a legitimate pastime, to be indulged at whim and by any.”