Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka who spoke to Reuters about the islamist sect and insurgency, Boko Haram. He furthermore stressed that Islam and Chrsitianity are both foreign impositions.
Speaking from his Abeokuta home, said 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.
Soyinka said the horrors inflicted by the militants had shown Nigerians across the mostly Muslim north and Christian south that sticking together might be the only way to avoid even greater sectarian slaughter.
The bloodshed was now worse than during the 1967-70 Biafra war when a secessionist attempt by the eastern Igbo people nearly tore Nigeria up into ethnic regions, he added.
“We have never been confronted with butchery on this scale, even during the civil war,” Soyinka said in his front room, surrounding by traditional wooden sculptures of Yoruba deities on Tuesday.
“There were atrocities (during Biafra) but we never had such a near predictable level of carnage and this is what is horrifying,” said the writer, who was imprisoned for two years in solitary confinement by the military regime during the war on charges of aiding the Biafrans.
Soyinka, a playwright and one of Africa’s leading intellectuals who still wears his distinctive white Afro hairstyle, turns 80 in two weeks. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, the first African writer to receive it.
A million people died during the Biafra war, though mostly through starvation and illness, rather than violence.
Boko Haram’s five-year-old struggle to carve out an Islamic state from its bases in the remote northeast has become increasingly bloody, with near daily attacks killing many thousands.
While the leadership of Boko Haram needed to be “decapitated completely”, little had been done to present an alternative ideological vision to their “deluded” followers, driven largely by economic destitution and despair, he added.