Prof. Wọlé Soyinka, has cautioned the government that the subsequent face-off between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the country can degenerate into civil war if the government fails to swiftly and properly handle or managing it.
The Nobel laureate, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation he holds the mandates to protect via oath of allegiance and unmarried himself from the activities of those who run their businesses by causing havoc to fellow beings; killing, raping, torture while occupying land that does not belong them.
A caution he handed down in his recent interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) pidgin, criticising the ways and manners the government is handling the situation, accusing some security operatives of taking sides.
Recall that the Ondo state governor, considering the increasing herdsmen violence in the South-west and Ondo state in particular had issued a directive ordering all Fulani herdsmen living in any part of the state’s forest reserves to leave within seven days.
Consequently, Oyo State activist and a Yoruba youth leader, Sunday Adeyemo-Ighogho issued a seven-day eviction ultimatum to the Fulani community in Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government area of Oyo state, alleging that they are responsible for the rising abduction and kidnapping activities within the region
Reacting to the eviction order, Mr. Femi Falana a human right crusader noted that the order Akeredolu issued that herdsmen should leave state’s forest reserves within seven days was legal in the eyes of the law
While condemning killing, raping and other assaults allegations on Fulani herdsmen nationwide, the Nobel laureate said there “is a need to ensure that the matter is settled amicably and within the confines of the law”
The Poet and playwright said “My fear is that it could degenerate into violence that ends up in— hate to use the word—a civil war unless we take action. I am glad that governors are already dialoguing with groups like Miyetti Allah (cattle breeders),” he said.
“I am also glad that they are already discussing agreeing to obey the rules and that other groups are already liaising. I think we need to ensure they reach a consensus that will be fair to all parties.
“We are struggling against an enemy that believes in acting the way he pleases. They believe they have immunity or that nothing can happen to them. That is why, in my own state, you find a soldier taking the side of an enemy.
“They actually escort killers, rapists, raiders while flogging the victims. That wouldn’t happen if the people are conscious of the nature of their enemy and are encouraged to collaborate with the security forces”
He, thus, challenged the president “to address the nation. He should address the nation in unambiguous terms. Say openly that I know I am the patron of Cattle Rearer Association of Nigeria. Cattle rearing is a business and I rear my cattle on a business term.
“I do not run my business by killing people. I do not run my business by raping, by displacing or by torture. I do not run my business by occupying land that does not belong to me,” Soyinka tasked the president to dissociate himself from the nefarious activities of Fulani herdsmen. Soyinka noted