Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, said he found nothing wrong with the Christmas Day message of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, other than religionists twisting it.
Soyinka spoke in a statement on Monday amid undying calls for the head of the cleric over the message by the government, groups and individuals.
According to Soyinka, having studied the message, having studied the transcript of the message as reported in the media, he found nothing in it that denigrated Islam.
He said: “One of the ironic features of religionists is, one is forced to conclude, a need to be offended. It is as if religion cannot exist unless it is nourished with the broth of offence.
“This may be due to an inbuilt insecurity, a fear that even the ascribed absolutes of faith may be founded on nothing more than idealistic human projections, not grounded in anything durable or immutable, hence the over prickliness, aggressiveness, sometimes even bullying tendencies and imperious posturing.
“This leads to finding enemies where there are none. In certain social climates, it degenerates into inventing enmities in order to entrench theocratic power. In its own peculiar way, this is actually a rational proceeding. A perceived threat to a collectivity tends to rally even waverers round the flag.”
Soyinka, who recalled also faulting the Christian Association of Nigeria some time back for unduly criticising now Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, over a comment that bothered on Christianity, added on the Kukah issue: “On a personal note, I have studied the transcript as reported in the media and found nothing in it that denigrates Islam but then, I must confess, I am not among the most religion besotted inhabitants of the globe.
“That, I have been told, disqualifies me from even commenting on the subject and, quite frankly, I wish that were indeed the case.”