Boko Haram: We Musn’t Despair, We Musn’t Submit, We Musn’t Surrender – Wole Soyinka

Nobel Prize laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, in his message to the Muslim youths urged people to keep disciplined and join hands in the fight against Boko Haram.

The prominent Nigerian made his position known as he spoke in his Ijegba forest home town, Abeokuta, Ogun State, in the course of the International Cultural Exchange project.

He was quoted as saying by Vanguard:

“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.”

Sad as it can be, the day of Eid-al-Fitr celebrations has been alloyed by the tragedy in Damaturu where a prayer ground was rocked by two explosions. From two to six people are feared killed in the bombing. However, the official information is yet to be provided on the matter.

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