Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka says religion has become a major problem in the country, preventing Nigerians from thinking rationally.
“Religion has become the number one problem for Nigerians,” Mr Soyinka said, adding that any religion that becomes an excuse for the adherents to flout Nigeria’s laws, should be “tackled head-on.”
Mr Soyinka made the comment while speaking recently with a professor of African Literature, Louisa Egbunike, Channels TV reported on Saturday.
He advocated for putting religion “in its place in order for people to be liberated as rational beings.”
Mr Soyinka decried the use of “religion to subvert the rights of others, to the extent of primordial rights to kill,” arguing that religion should be practiced privately.
“If for instance a legislator, later a Governor, can claim the right to be a pedophile and indulge in cross-border child trafficking, celebrating child marriage.
“Then consummating that event, which is against the law of a nation, and he says he has a right to do it because his religion permits it; then both he and that religion should just be shown the way to the law courts and treated like other phenomena of society,” Mr Soyinka said
Mr Soyinka said the same treatment should be meted to those who “use religion to excuse building a church which collapses on the head of humanity, many of them not from Nigeria, several from South Africa.
“And then you say it was caused by supernatural forces when you know very well that you flouted the conditions for increasing the floors of your building.”