“Soyinka is an atheist, don’t listen to him” ― Reno Omokri advises Davido over controversial video


Reno Omokri, a former presidential aide, has warned singer David Adeleke, a.k.a. Davido, not to listen to an atheist like Professor Wole Soyinka who is advising him not to apologize to Muslims who have been offended by one of his signees’ music videos.

On Saturday, July 22, Davido shared a snippet of a music video titled ‘Jaye Lo’ by his signee, Logos Olori, on his Twitter page.

The video, which was widely condemned as a desecration of Islam, was widely condemned. Some Northern youths took to the streets to protest and vandalize banners bearing the singer’s face, while others, including actor Ali Nuhu and Buhari’s ex-aide, Bashir Ahmad, called the singer out on social media and demanded an immediate apology.

However, after being accused of disrespecting Islam by posting a video of people praying and dancing in front of a mosque, Davido bowed to pressure and deleted the music video snippet.

In a statement released to defend Davido, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka accused former Kaduna State Governor Nasir El Rufai of making derogatory comments about Christians in the past but was never asked to apologize.

He also stated that it was not Davido’s music that led to the lynching of Deborah Yakubu, a second-year Christian college student killed by a mob of Muslim students in Sokoto last year for alleged blasphemy. He claimed that Davido has no reason to apologize to Muslims.

Read his full statement below…

“The following should not be needed, but we appear to inhabit a nation space where memory deficiency has become an accreditation badge of competence in national affairs. I recall my intervention, several years ago, in an attempt to pillory former Governor of Kaduna State, El Rufai over some comment he had made that was considered derogatory to followers of Christianity.

I forget the reference now but I do distinctly recall another of a bank manager who, at Easter tide, referred to the risen Christ as a metaphor for the risen dough in the bakeries of Oshodi. Something along those lines. Under obvious pressure, he apologized, and I rebuked him for the gesture.

“There was nothing to apologize about, and that applied equally to El Rufai’s comments at the time. It should come as no surprise that I equally absolutely disagree with Shehu Sani if indeed, as reported, he has demanded an apology from Davido on behalf of the Moslem community.

No apology is required, None should be offered. Let us stop battening down our heads in the mush of contrived contrition – we know where contrition, apology and restitution remain clamorous in the cause of closure and above all – justice. Such apologies have not been forthcoming. In their place, we have the ascendancy of petulant censorship in the dance and music department. Just where will it end?

“It goes beyond mere elation or euphoria and involves surrender of the ego to the mystical and sublime – through dance. The secularization of that medium stretches across religions, and offers the artistes’ a means of invoking a sense of spiritual community, through a common act of self-surrender.

Reacting to Soyinka’s comment, Reno via his Instagram page wrote:

”It would be very unwise for Davido to take the counsel of an atheist like Professor Wole Soyinka, who is telling him he owes no apology to Muslims, over the video for the song jaye lo. This is a man who does not believe in God. How can he then know how people who believe in God feel?

Islam belongs to Muslims, who assert that they received it from God. It is not for an atheist or a Christian or any practitioner of another religion other than Islam to tell them how to feel when their faith is used in ways they disapprove of.

Is this not the same Professor Wole Soyinka who, just two weeks ago, on July 7, 2023, condemned the Emir of Ilorin for stopping an Osun priestess, Yeye Ajesikemi Omolara, from holding an Isese festival in Ilorin and demanded redress for Osun worshippers? So, why is he now against redress for Muslims?

Nigerians need to remember that this is the same Wole Soyinka who, on May 8, 2023, boasted that Peter Obi apologised to him in person over the attacks on his person by Obidients. Yet, he is here counselling Davido not to apologise to Muslims over a video they consider sacrilegious.

Christians have also previously taken offence with movies and music that, in our view, are sacrilegious about the person of our Lord and Saviour. These include the movies The First Temptation of Christ and The Last Temptation of Christ. We collectively boycotted these movies and demanded an apology and their recall. We were also upset when Mallam Nasir El-Rufai made a crude joke about our Lord and Saviour. How will we feel if a Muslim celebrity comes out to say we do not deserve any apology for those movies and jokes?

In Mark 12:31, our Lord told us to love our neighbour as ourselves. Muslims are our neighbours. They joined us in condemning El-Rufai when he made his crude Jesus joke. They united with us in asking him to apologise. Under pressure from both Christians and Muslims, El-Rufai apologised.

Deleting the offending video is a first step for which I commend Davido. Apologising will put the matter to an end and assuage the hurt feelings of Muslims.

An elder should be known for putting out fires, not for adding fuel to flames.

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