Renowned Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka has expressed solidarity with an Atheist, Mubarak Bala who is currently being detained for Blasphemy in Kano.
Mubarak Bala was arrested and detained in Kaduna following a petition by a lawyer, Salisu Umar on April 28 that he allegedly committed Blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.
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He was transferred to kano and had been left in police custody for the last 100 days without charge as the Kano State police command claim that courts are closed due to COVID-19.
In a letter to the persecuted Atheist, Wole Soyinka noted that he too was once a victim of persecution because of his different views.
He noted that the young man has stood firm in his beliefs and described his arbitrary detention for the last 100 as a cruelty.
“I write to you today, on this day, the one hundredth day of your detention in an undisclosed location without access to your lawyers, your wife, or your newborn son.
As a child, I remember living in a state of harmonious coexistence all but forgotten in the Nigeria of today, as the plague of religious extremism has encroached. We both have sought to challenge the ascendancy of religious jingoism.
“As a human rights activist, you have sought to promote freedom of belief and expression and grown to serve as President of the noble institution that is the Humanist Association of Nigeria.”
“Do they not see the futility of their quest? How can they hope to rein in technology, to rein in questioning minds? I fear that, if they do not see sense, we shall all be caught in a spiral of reprisals that will obscure the path to rational dialogue.”
“I imagine you pacing your cell, just as I have done. Feeling with each passing day, the added strain. But I know too, that with each passing day you will reach further into your reserves – reserves that you have always thought finite – and discover strength of which you had never dreamed