Friday, April 28, 2017 5:05 pm
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka on Friday revealed that herdsmen have again invaded his home in Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria.
Herdsmen had last year attacked Soyinka’s home while he was away abroad. He had said then that he returned from a trip outside the country only to “find that my home ground had been invaded, and a brand-new “Appian way” sliced through my sanctuary. That ‘motorable’ path was made by the hoofed invaders. Both the improvised entry and exit are now blocked.”
Speaking with newsmen on Friday at the Freedom Park, Lagos Island, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, Soyinka said this time the herdsmen came through another path to his doorstep.
Soyinka said with this recent invasion of his home by herdsmen, it meant that “we are living in dangerous time,” saying that the invasion convinced him that the attack was a deliberate act of provocation.
According to him, the attack was life-threatening and alarming as his home and that of his neighbours were invaded by the herdsmen, adding that he had reported the matter to the police in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The Nobel laureate said it was sad that the government was virtually doing nothing about incessant herdsmen attack across the nation as they left behind trails of blood, pains and anguish.
Soyinka said the herdsmen were everywhere now and that they normally come to territories not as peaceful neighbours, but as conquerors.
He stated that it was dangerous when herdsmen begin to come to people’s doorstep, especially his home, as such invaders could become potential suicide bombers, decrying that the leadership of this nation must take drastic steps to nip in the bud incessant attacks from herdsmen.
Soyinka said the time had come to wake up the leadership of the nation to take precise action to remedy the dangerous menace of herdsmen with their conqueror’s mentality, lamenting that the behaviour of the police and other security agencies was that the citizens should look after themselves in this dangerous times.
“We need to wake up the leadership, let them know the seriousness of the issue on ground; these sorts of conquerors, these herdsmen are worse than Boko Haram,” he said, adding that some kind of action was required to make the government to take drastic action, saying that such action could be abstinence from anything beef to call the leadership to its responsibilities to take holistic action about the issue on ground.
Soyinka also frowned at the plan by the government to create a grazing corridor for herdsmen in the country, saying that would compound the problem on ground.
“Creating corridor for cattle grazing will compound the problem, I do not think that is the solution,” he said, adding that creating ranches for the herdsmen could be part of the solution,” he said.
Earlier, Soyinka adapted the speech he delivered a year ago at the National Conference on Culture and Tourism, saying that “they must be taught however that there is a culture of settlement, and learn to seek accommodation with settled hosts wherever encountered.
“The leadership of any society cannot stand idly and offer solutions that implicitly deem the massacres of innocents mere incidents on the way to that learning school. For every crime, there is a punishment, for every violation, there must be restitution. The nomads of the world cannot place themselves above the law of settled humanity.”