Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, came to the defense of singer David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, stating that there was no need for him to apologize over a controversial video he had shared, which seemed to have offended the Muslim faith.
Davido faced criticism for the now-deleted video, with some prominent Muslim faithful expressing disapproval of its content. However, Soyinka, in a statement on Tuesday, emphasized that an apology was unnecessary.
He recalled a past incident where he had intervened to defend former Governor of Kaduna State, El Rufai, over comments considered derogatory to Christianity. Soyinka also cited a case involving a bank manager who referred to the risen Christ as a metaphor for risen dough at Easter, which led to demands for an apology. In both instances, Soyinka argued that no apologies were needed.
Soyinka expressed disagreement with Shehu Sani, who reportedly demanded an apology from Davido on behalf of the Muslim community. He asserted that no apology should be offered, and no contrived contrition was required.
Soyinka highlighted the importance of dance and music as a means of invoking a sense of spiritual community through a common act of self-surrender. He defended the artist’s right to deploy dance in a religious setting and emphasized that such deployment was a universal heritage, especially in Islam.
He called for a broader focus on the root issues of religion in the nation, particularly the sectarian appropriation of power that affects believers and non-believers alike. Soyinka pointed out that the real provocations deserving of righteous indignation were issues such as the unjust treatment of individuals like Deborah Yakubu and Mubarak Bala.
Soyinka concluded by urging citizens to address the core issues rather than getting caught up in distractive arguments and piffle.
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