Blasphemy: Wole Soyinka Calls for Sack of National Mosque Imam

Blasphemy: Wole Soyinka Calls for Sack of National Mosque Imam

  • Professor Wole Soyinka has called for the immediate sack of the Chief Imam of Abuja National Mosque, Professor Ibrahim Maqari Yakub
  • Prof Yakub had justified the killing of Deborah Samuel for alleged blasphemy by her colleagues at the College of Education, Sokoto
  • The Nobel Laureate lamented the resort to lynching people in the name of religion, calling for the end to such barbaric acts in the country

FCT, Abuja - Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has called for the sacking of the Imam, National Mosque, Abuja, Professor Ibrahim Maqari.

Soyinka was responding to Maqari's justification of the murder of Deborah Samuel Yakubu, a 200-level student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, who was lynched for allegedly blaspheming Prophet Muhammad.

National Mosque Imam
Professor Maqari had said there are redlines non-Muslims must not cross when speaking about Prophet Muhammad. Photo credit: @bbchausa
Source: Twitter

Soyinka accused the Islamic cleric of directing his followers to take the law into their own hands in the name of religion.

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Deborah Samuel: Buhari's good friend condemns killing, burning of Sokoto student over blasphemy

He made the comment in Abuja on Saturday, May 21 during the one-year remembrance of the late former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and the launch of Attahiru’s biography written by an author, Niran Adedokun.

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The Punch newspaper quoted the Nobel laureate as saying:

“The apostate of the creed of humanity, Professor Maqari, must be removed from office.
“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 civilised norms. Let all pietistic denunciations be backed by affirmative action.”

The playwright noted that the Islamic cleric had done nothing but encouraged his followers to kill anyone that blasphemes Prophet Muhammad.

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He added:

“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.
“Maqari has implicitly directed his followers to take the law into their own hands in the name of religion, and innovation. That is the message of a supposedly holy man to a nation embroiled in his madness of multiple incidences.”

How Professor Maqari justified the killing of Deborah via social media had reported that Professor Maqari supported the lynching of Deborah by writing on Twitter:

“It should be known to everyone that we the Muslims have some redlines beyond which MUST NOT be crossed. The dignity of the Prophet (PBUH) is at the forefront of the redlines.
“If our grievances are not properly addressed, then we should not be criticized for addressing them ourselves.”

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Police arrest 3 suspects in Maiduguri protest over another blasphemous facebook comment

Bishop Kukah commends Gov Tambuwal for declaring curfew in Sokoto

Recall that the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Reverend Matthew Kukah commended Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal for his prompt declaration of a 24-hours curfew to calm the violent attacks in the state.

The protesters had earlier attacked the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral at Bello road and St. Kevin's Catholic Church, Gidan Dere, destroying windows and a community bus parked within the premises.

Governor Tambuwal swiftly intervened in the Sokoto crisis to prevent further destruction of properties.


Jerrywright Ukwu avatar

Jerrywright Ukwu Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at

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