Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has accused the Federal Government of not paying enough attention to the herdsmen attacks in the country.
In a statement personally signed by him and obtained by Channels Television, Professor Soyinka warned President Muhammadu Buhari to learn from history and stop treating the ravaging herdsmen with kid gloves.
According to him, “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.
The Nobel laureate also described the recent attacks on communities in Benue State among other incessant attacks by the herdsmen as a declaration of war on Nigeria.
He asked the the President to avoid falling into a similar fate that befell his predecessor when the Chibok girls were kidnapped from their school in 2014 in Borno State.
He said: “In plain language, they have declared war against the nation, and their weapon is undiluted terror. Why have they been permitted to become a menace to the rest of us? That is the issue!”
“President Goodluck Jonathan refused to accept that marauders had carried off the nation’s daughters; President Muhammadu Buhari and his government – including his Inspector-General of Police – in near identical denial, appear to believe that killer herdsmen who strike again and again at will from one corner of the nation to the other, are merely hot-tempered citizens whose scraps occasionally degenerate into ‘communal clashes,” he added.
Soyinka further recalled that the during a meeting convened by the government to resolve the crisis, the herdsmen were said to have attended the meeting while armed.
He also condemned the statements credited to the herders that the killings were in defence of their stolen cows and asked President Buhari to curb their activities decisively without any further evasiveness.
He said: “A peace meeting was called, attended by the state government and security agencies of the nation, including the Inspector General of Police.”
“This group attended – according to reports – with AK47s and other weapons of mass intimidation visible under their garments. 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. The sustained, killing monologue of the herdsmen is what is at issue. It must be curbed, decisively and without further evasiveness,” the Nobel laureate warned.