Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has warned Nigerians to beware of being pushed to the point where
adherents of religious faiths would engage in a war, stressing that the outcome of it may be very devastating for the country.
Speaking yesterday in Osogbo at a press conference to herald a three-day colloquium organized by the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, CBCIU, in collaboration with Osun State Government, which begins tomorrow, Soyinka noted that activities in recent past in the country pointed to the fact that religious war was looming.
Tagged, ‘All Comers Colloquium’, under the theme: ‘Fundamental Imperatives of Cohabitation: Faith and Secularism’, the event is expected to bring Christians, Muslims and traditionalists to discuss ways of preventing religious war in the country.
Soyinka, who is the Chairman, Board of Directors of CBCIU, represented by a member of the Board, Prof. Wale Adeniran, stated that with Nigeria surviving a civil war, the next war the nation may fight is religious war.
“I pray this does not happen because this may lead to disintegration of Nigeria as no nation in the world has ever fought a religious war and remained the same,” he said.
He blamed Nigerian leaders for consciously using religion to divide the country for their selfish interests, adding that the secularity of Nigeria is very clear.
His words: “Religious crisis in Nigeria today is assuming a dangerous dimension. The secularity of Nigeria is very clear. There is no ambiguity about it. Should religion be allowed to really have impact on governance? What is important and should be paramount is who you are and not your religion. Religion should not be brought into governance”.
Discussants at the colloquium include Professor Dawud Noibi, who will speak on Primordial Spirituality as Agent of Development; Mr. Modupe Oduyoye: Religion and Development; Dr. Abiodun Agboola: Equilibrium that Adjusts the World; Mr. Mustapha Adebayo Bello: Quest for Peace; and Dr. Michael Adekunle: Pluralism and Accommodation in a Democratic Society.
By Gbenga Olarinoye, Osogbo