By Chris Onuoha
Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has charged the Muslim community and youths to be disciplined and embrace spiritual solidarity and selfless re-dedication for peaceful co-existence.
In his message to the youths who participated in the Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange project, 2015 to mark his 81st birthday in his Ijegba forest home town, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Soyinka felicitated with the Muslims ,urging them never to despair, but join hands in expelling Boko Haram from the society.
“I do not have to tell you that never was a nation more in need of reflection and selfless re-dedication than at this moment. Whether we choose to admit it or not, we are assailed by one of the most ruthless enemies of humanity that the nation has ever known.
“Boko Haram claim to derive their inspiration and commitment to the religion of Islam, but you and I know that they are nothing more than bloodthirsty liars and blasphemers. Their actions brand them as obsessive enemies of learning, enlightenment and indeed of humanity. My message to you all is straightforward:
We must not despair, and we must never submit. We must never forget their victims who must now be counted in thousands. We must dedicate ourselves to the recovery of the missing, the rehabilitation of the displaced, and the healing of the wounded and traumatized.
No matter to what part of the nation we primarily belong, irrespective of whatever religion we espouse, and no matter where we find ourselves in these troubled times, we must link arms and stand against the forces of irredeemable evil, and be guided by pronouncements that promote our common humanity in defiance of a murderous minority.
“What binds us all together is that common faculty – the mind – a faculty that identifies us as a living species apart from the common herd, such as those rams and goats that will be slaughtered for feasting when this season of fasting and sacrifices is over. We must not surrender.
We must not even accommodate those who believe that our youth exist only for enslavement and arbitrary slaughter. These creatures are not part of us. They belong to no known community of humans. We must join hands in expelling them from our midst and remain dedicated to that eternal human undertaking – the pursuit of truth and illumination through the exercise of the mind,” he said.