Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has accused Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State of hypocrisy and promotion of religious intolerance following the 24-year jail sentence handed to atheist, Mubarak Bala.
While speaking to Punch, Soyinka stated that it was hypocritical of the Ganduje government and the Sharia authorities to be chasing blasphemers while the governor himself saw nothing wrong in “stuffing his outfit with dollars.”
The nobel laureate also said that he was shocked when Ganduje promised to sign the death warrant of musician, Yahaya Shariff, who was also convicted for blasphemy in 2020.
“You can imagine a governor saying he would sign the death warrant of a musician for blasphemy! For me, it is nothing short of a crime against humanity. It reeks of hypocrisy. This was the same governor that was stuffing his outfit with dollars.
“I have deliberately not called for his arrest because he enjoys immunity. But these are the people who arrest blasphemers”
When asked if he would be seeking Ganduje’s prosecution after he leaves office, Soyinka responded, “Of course, the authorities know what to do once he leaves office.”
Soyinka who called on civil society groups to launch a campaign against the 24-year imprisonment of Bala and also appeal the sentence, added that it was hypocritical of the northern leaders to hound blasphemers while turning a blind eye to corruption.
“I am glad that the conviction will be appealed but I think it is imperative for rights groups to launch a campaign against these atrocities. Nigeria is a secular nation and has no state religion. The conviction is one of the fallouts of the so-called Sharia that was adopted by some of these states years ago.
“We are not in the dark ages or cavemen. No one should be imprisoned for their religious views. The concept of blasphemy should not even exist in a secular state”