Herdsmen crisis may develop to civil war, Wole Soyinka warns

Obinwannem News Herdsmen crisis may develop to civil war, Wole Soyinka warns

• Says he’s ready to contribute whatever it takes

Nigerian famous playwright and political activist Wole Soyinka in an exclusive interview with BBC, warned against an impending civil war, if herdsmen crisis are not checkmated.

The Nobel Laurette emphasised on the violence and destruction of forest reserves by herdsmen activities on parts of the country, noting it was time for the people to rise up to the challenge by rejecting the incesant killings and illegal possession of forest reserve by the herdsmen; which might culminate to war.

“Unless action is taken, we may enter a phase of serial skirmishes; it will get more and more violent, and swell (develop) into a civil war, and a very untidy, messy one at that,” Soyinka said.

Reacting to the incompetence of the federal government to remedy the situation, he said: “If we keep waiting for this (herdsmen crisis) to be centrally handled, we are going to become (if we are not already) slaves in our own land. That to me is intolerable, an unacceptable condition. Whatever it takes, I stand ready to contribute in any way, and I have made my governor understand this.”

The political activist admonished the Presidency to publicly address Nigerians, that he is not in support of the criminals activities and killing by the herdsmen and back the efforts of the citizen to flush herdsmen violating set rules.

He advised the country’s president to say: “Yes I know I am the patron of the cattle rearers association. I’m a cattle rancher myself. It is a business, and I run the business on business terms. I don’t run my business by raping, by displacing people, by torture. I do not run my business by occupying lands that does not belong to me and I am warning all business people in the food commodity; all you cattle rearers, Whatever comes to you for illegal occupation or trespassing on other people’s property, is your business.”

Wole Soyinka further advised the president to say, “I am ordering the army, all the security forces to back citizen efforts in flushing you (herdsmen) out”.

Soyinka said although it was very late, but he expects the president to do the needful.

“And as long as that language does not come, I must consider him quite complicit in what is going on, because the buck stop at his desk,” the Nobel Laurette concluded.

Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News

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