Wole Soyinka, the Nobel laureate, has voiced his support for Davido, urging him not to apologize for the controversial music video of his newly signed artiste, Logos Olori.
The music video for ‘Jaye Lo’ by Logos Olori, which was promoted by Davido on social media, featured some men in white Jalabiya dancing in front of a mosque. This led to criticism from many Muslim devotees, who called for the video to be taken down.
Davido eventually removed the video in response to the backlash, but some Muslims still demanded a public apology from him. Shehu Sani, the former senator, also advised Davido to engage with his Muslim fans.
However, Wole Soyinka, in a statement, defended Davido, saying that he does not need to apologize. Soyinka criticized the demand for an apology, pointing out that dance is an integral part of worship in many religions, including Islam.
“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,” the statement reads in part.
“There was nothing to apologize about, and that applied equally to El Rufai’s comments at the time. I disagree with Shehu Sani for demanding an apology from Davido on behalf of the Moslem community.
He went on to express his frustration with the state of the judicial system and encouraged those who were offended to boycott Davido’s products instead of demanding an apology. Soyinka emphasized that music and dance are not responsible for the injustices and issues plaguing the nation.
“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?
“Let us learn to read it that way. Those who persist in taking offence to bed and serving it up as breakfast should exercise their right of boycotting Davido’s products no one quarrels with that right.
“It was not Davido’s music that lynched Deborah Yakubu, and continues to frustrate the cause of justice. Nor has it contributed to the arbitrary detention of religious dissenters call them atheists or whatever such as Mubarak Bala, now languishing in prison for his 38th month.”
The controversy even led to some youths in Maiduguri protesting against Davido and setting his banner on fire. The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) also called for an investigation by the Department of State Services (DSS) into the matter.