Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation and declare that he is not in support of criminal activities of some herdsmen in parts of Nigeria.
Soyinka made the call in an interview with BBC News Pidgin.
He urged Buhari to state categorically that:
“Yes, I (the president) am a patron of cattle rearers association, I’m a rancher, and it’s a business I engage in on business terms. I do not rape, torture or displace people to occupy their land.
“I warn everyone in the food commodity chain, and cattle rearers that anyone seen illegally occupying or trespassing other people’s property should be prosecuted and the army as well as other security forces to back efforts of citizens to flush them out.”
Soyinka said the country might enter a phase of serial skirmishes “which may get more and more violent and develop – I hate to use the word – may develop into a civil war and a very untidy and messy one at that. That is my biggest fear.”
He advocated a civil mobilization to tackle the herdsmen crisis as “it is now at the doorstep of the Southwest region.”
He further warned that “waiting for the problem to be handled by the Federal Government, we are all going to become, if not already, slaves in our land. That, for me, is intolerable and unacceptable.”