Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has mocked Nigerian pastors, particularly those who prophesied that US President, Donald Trump, would win the US presidential election, over their failed prophecies.
In an article on the influence of religion on democratic governance, Soyinka stated that some of the American citizens involved in the violent protests at the Capitol on 6 January were driven by religious and quasi-religious influences.
Soyinka, in the article titled “The Kukah Offence And Ongoing Offensives,” noted that religious extremism in the US has extended to Nigeria to the extent that some Christian clerics claimed God revealed to them that Trump would win the election, while others and their followers held a procession in honour of their “messiah” and designated him as the “upholder of christian values”.
He described as laughable the claim by some of the clerics that Joe Biden’s electoral victory would be overturned in the US law courts, but could not prophesy the losses suffered by Trump both at the ballot box and in the courts.
“Let no one be in any doubt that some of the most extreme of the violent forces that recently assaulted her governance citadel are sprung from religious and quasi-religious affirmations, a condition that still enables many of them to be brainwashed into accepting literally, and uncritically, indeed as gospel truth, any pronouncement, however outrageous and improbable, that emerges from their leadership.
“As usual, we have not lacked, within our own distanced environment, advocates who, even till recently, claimed to have seen in their vision, the triumph of God’s own anointed in the electoral contest of that same United States. They have been specific in their prophecy that what was denied at the ballot box would be restored in the law courts.
“And to set a divine seal on the matter, were not our streets in a part of this nation actually inundated by religious processions in support of the candidacy of their supposed Messiah, named Donald Trump? They had conferred on him the mantle of upholder of christian values, endangered by satanic practices in, of all places, a nation designated as – God’s own Country,” wrote the literary giant.
Soyinka, however, insisted that not all such tendencies represent the true face of any professed religion, saying “we need only remark that all religions are plagued by a lunatic fringe”.
He also stated that Nigerians should have learnt what such clerics, who claim to be preaching in the name of God, are capbale of and that extreme care should be taken by all and sundry about any act or pronouncement, which, according to him, may be ascribed as an attack on faith.