The Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has said that the Fulani herdsmen have declared war against Nigeria.
In a statement on Wednesday, Soyinka warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to treat the Fulani Herdsmen’s hostility against Nigerians the way former President Goodluck Jonathan treated Boko Haram at the early stage of its insurgency.
He also wondered in the release why the Federal Government had not given consideration to some of the stakeholders’ recommendations on how to resolve the problem.
Recalling that after “a hideous massacre” perpetrated by the herdsmen in 2016, a security meeting was called and the cattle rearers “attended the meeting, according to reports, with AK47s and other weapons of mass intimidation visible under their garments.”
Soyinka said, “They were neither disarmed nor turned back. They freely admitted the killings but justified them by claims that they had lost their cattle to the host community.”
On the comments that the herdsmen killings were in defence of their stolen cows, Soyinka wondered: “How do we assess a mental state that cannot distinguish between a stolen cow – which is always recoverable – and human life, which is not.
According to Soyinka, “Such are the monstrous beginnings of the culture of impunity. We are reaping, yet again, the consequences of such tolerance of the intolerable. Yes, there indeed the government is culpable, definitely guilty of ‘looking the other way’. Indeed, it must be held complicit.”
He said, “I am not aware that IPOB came anywhere close to this homicidal propensity and will to dominance before it was declared a terrorist organization.
“The international community rightly refused to go along with such an absurdity. The conduct of that movement, even at its most extreme, could by no means be reckoned as terrorism. By contrast, how do we categorise Myeti?”
Soyinka lamented that with the herdsmen’s defiance, “Villages have been depopulated far wider than those outside their operational zones can conceive. They swoop on sleeping settlements, kill and strut. They glory in their seeming supremacy.” (Tribune)