Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, says Fulani herdsmen have brought war to his doorsteps.
The Nobel Laureate said this in reaction of the current crisis between the herdsmen and indigenes of the South West.
In an exclusive interview with BBC Pidgin, Soyinka stated that he expects President Muhammadu Buhari to call the herdsmen to order, adding that since he hasn’t said anything to this point, he considers him complacent.
Soyinka said: “What do they expect from us now that this war is on our doorstep.
“Of course it has got to be civil mobilisation and we keep waiting for it to be centrally handled and we are all going to be calm for us not to be enslaved.
“That, to me, is personally intolerable.
“It is not an acceptable condition and whatever it takes, I stand ready to contribute in anyway.
“And I have made my government understand this.
“We are here not just to live but to live in dignity.
“Right now our dignity is being rubbished.
“My forest is being taken over, my normal hunting ground is being shrinking.
“My family tells me that if I go indept again, they will have me institutionalised.”
On what he is expecting the President to do in order to tell the people that it is no longer business as usual, Soyinka said” “Address the nation in a very stern, unambiguous terms.
“Say openly, yes, I know I am the matron of the cattle rearers association, etc.
“I am a cattle rancher myself, it is a business and I run my business on business terms.
“I do not run my business by killing people, I do not run my business by raping, displacing, torturing and I don’t not run my business by occupying land that does not belong to me.
“And I am warning all you business people in the food commodities in the cattle rearing business.
“Whatever comes to you for illegal occupation or for trespassing in other people’s property is your business.
“And I am ordering the Army, I am ordering all the security forces to back citizens efforts in flushing you people out.
“I expect nothing less even at this stage.
“It is very late already but not too late.
“This is the language I expect from President Buhari and as long as that language does not come, I must consider him quite complacent with what is going on because the buck stops at his desk.”
Speaking on his biggest fear on where the current state of the country, the Nobel Laureate said: “We may have entered a phase of serial skirmishes.
“Will get more and more violent and less and less focus, which will swell into a developed civil war and a very untidy and messy one at that.
“That is my biggest fear and unless action is taken, which I am very glad that the governors are coming together and they are discussing in all seriousness.
“And I am very glad that they are pulling in renegades groups like the Miyetti Allah for instance obviously knocking some sense into the heads of their leaders and spokes.
“I noticed that they are now talking about accepting the decisions of governors and agreeing to obey.”
On what he thinks of the actions of Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho, who gave the herdsmen seven days ultimatum to leave Oyo State, Soyinka said:
“We have never met and incidentally I saw a headline on one of these online reports, titled: ‘Wole Soyinka calls Igboho a hero.”
“I mean, I never did'”.
“But certainly Igboho has responded to a situation in the way he knew how.”
“Now, you will see that he would try to work with others”.
“This is the way these things always happen”.
“Somebody will reach his explosion point and he says I cannot take this any longer and he takes an action.”
“The action might be excessive, it may be wrong, but what matters is that somebody has responded to an unacceptable situation”.
“Any errors which you make is for the rest of us to correct by calling him and I know that a number of people are doing that.”
Source: The Eagle Online