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Wole Soyinka: Christianity & Islam are Foreign Impositions | Video



Wole Soyinka on Channels TV - June 2014 - BellaNaija,com 01

Nigerian acclaimed author, playwright and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka who turns 80 in two weeks, speaks to Reuters about the Islamist militant sect Boko Haram, as well as religion.

Soyinka in his Abeokuta home told Tim Cocks that Nigeria is suffering greater carnage at the hands of Boko Haram. He also said their mission is far worse than the Biafra war from 1967 to 1970 which saw lots of bloodshed.

We have never been confronted with butchery on this scale, even during the civil war,” he begins.

“There were atrocities which were committed, but you never had such a regular, getting to a near predictable level of carnage. I think this is what is terrifying.

There’s no war zone. There’s no battle line. It’s everywhere. Not just in the North East for instance, it’s here, right here where we are sitting.

It’s right down in Lagos, even though it has not manifested itself.”

On if Boko Haram can make Nigeria split, he stated that, “I think ironically it’s less likely now. For the first time, a sense of belonging is predominating. It’s either we stick together now or we break up, and we know it would be not in a pleasant way.”

Soyinka also blamed successive governments for allowing religious fanaticism to undermine Nigeria’s broadly secular constitution, starting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo allowing some states to declare Sharia law in the early 2000s.

“When the spectre of Sharia first came up, for political reasons, this was allowed to hold, instead of the president defending the constitution.” he said.

He argued that modern Africa has lots its shape and sees both Christianity and Islam as foreign impositions.

“We cannot ignore the negative impact which both have had on African society. They are imperialist forces: intervening, arrogant. Modern Africa has been distorted.”

To read the full interview, click here

Watch Channels TV‘s clip!


  1. chi-e-z

    July 3, 2014 at 3:01 am

    I don’t think it’s religion just spitefull,shallow,self serving,ugly hearted people that try to find every way to divide and terrorize other people for not sharing their views. Lack of peaceful society enhancing education is sinful.


    July 3, 2014 at 3:52 am

    Terrible. To think that these religions are imports to Africa.
    From History,drawing from people who lived in the war zone, Boko Haram is not worst that the Biafran war.Before that war, lots of people returning from the North, were already homeless, orphaned, without any form of livelihood and had to face genocide. They were already disadvantaged and could not even settle in Biafra because of bombings of civilians.They were constantly moving. There was no place to hide.Today someone could move from the north and settle in the west,east,south … and be safe etc. How many children died?
    The only thing that makes Boko Haram more terrible is that it is a killing of a people by its own people and there is no just cause.

  3. Nicholas

    July 3, 2014 at 6:00 am

    he is right..i throw weight to that jare

  4. cynthia

    July 3, 2014 at 6:49 am

    He is right

  5. titi

    July 3, 2014 at 8:00 am

    I totally agree with him…!bella u rock!I luv dis new format very creative.

  6. Nigerwifediary.blogspot

    July 3, 2014 at 8:19 am

    He’s totally right.

  7. yewande

    July 3, 2014 at 8:58 am

    it was worse during the civil war. pregnant southern women had their tummies ripped open by the hausas and many men were beheaded.and to crown it all they packed the bodies, heads, babies in trains and buses, carried them to the east and dumped them. what’s happening now is child’s play compared to the civil war. and the world was silent. today these extremists, aided and abetted by politicians have picked from where their predecessors left, only this time they are not even sparing their own people.

    • Nuna

      July 3, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Exactly!! What exactly does he mean by this is worse than the war? Because it isnt. The kind of atrocities that happened during the war are not fit for human ears that’s why the govt is trying its best to conceal it from the younger generation. Those who lived during the war know exactly what I am talking about.
      I agree with every other point he made though

  8. mrs chidukane

    July 3, 2014 at 11:33 am

    It is not worse than what happened during the civil war. Everyone turned deaf ears because it was the ibos affected. People hid out in bushes and mothers with fussy babies had to kill them so they wouldn’t give away their hiding place to the Nigerian Army. The people killed by BH so far is not up to 1/20th of people killed during the Civil war. The only difference here is that no-place is safe unlike the civil war when it was only the East at risk and it was business as usual everywhere else in Nigeria. That after the war, people that had property in Lagos and other places found that people had taken over their property.

  9. ministerswife

    July 3, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Professor Soyinka never fails to dissect matters in a precise and logical manner.

    On a different note – check out his skin! Totally flawless; not a single wrinkle…and he’s almost 80 #blackisbeautiful #stopbleaching.

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