Noble Laureate, Wole Soyinka, on Thursday, said prosecution of those preaching ?religious intolerance was the panacea to persistent religious violence in the country.
The Nobel laureate stated this while delivering a lecture on the title, “Culture at risk” at the University of Benin, Edo State.
He said the outbreak of violence against innocent persons by religious extremists was due to what he dubbed as “toxin” injected into them by their spiritual leaders.
Soyinka also condemned the murder of eight students of the Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Talata Mafara in Zamfara state.
According to Soyinka , “In my view, it is that toxin injected into the social consciousness of the followers of that religion that has resulted in the murder of innocent citizens. Is there something called vicarious guilt ornot.
“Should we be surprised and start condemning some stupid young fellows who took the law into their own hands and burnt eight people alive, who were not even part of the original scenario?
“I call them stupid and a disgrace to their school, Abdu Gusau Polytechnic. I say they are stupid and a disgrace to learning anywhere because even a child who lives in a community must understand ?that if you want to create a serious fight between two people, just say that the individual you are targeting has abused your mother. It is as elementary as that.”
He attributed the emergence of the Boko Haram sect to the inciting religious ?teachings.
“It is this kind of mentality that created Boko Haram and all its seedling, the sense of intolerance, the failure to understand that you are just another member of society and you have no right over another human being.
“My view is that we can complain, we can protest, we can condemn as much as we want. Until those who are guilty even of vicarious liability, when a murder is committed, are brought to book and made to apologise to the whole nation and do penance, such cannot stop,” he added.