Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka has blasted President Muhammadu Buhari for what he described as “appeasement and encouragement of violence on innocents.”
Soyinka said that despite the increasing spate of attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen in different communities across the country, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government was yet to come up with an articulate solution to tackle the menace.
The Elder stateman stated this during his address to the National Conference on Culture and Tourism, on Wednesday.
Soyinka’s outburst comes few days after suspected Fulani herdsmen unleashed terror on Ukpabi Nimbo, a community in Enugu State, killing dozens of people.
The attack came weeks after a similar wave of violence by herdsmen in Agatu in Benue State.
“I have yet to hear this government articulate a firm policy of non-tolerance for the serial massacres that have become the nation’s identification stamp,” said Soyinka.
“I have not heard an order given that any cattle herders caught with sophisticated firearms be instantly disarmed, arrested, placed on trial, and his cattle confiscated. The nation is treated to an eighteen-month optimistic plan which, to make matters worse, smacks of abject appeasement and encouragement of violence on innocents.
“Let me repeat, and of course I only ask to be corrected if wrong: I have yet to encounter a terse, rigorous, soldierly and uncompromising language from this leadership, one that threatens a response to this unconscionable blood-letting that would make even Boko Haram repudiate its founding clerics.
“When I read a short while ago, the Presidential assurance to this nation that the current homicidal escalation between the cattle prowlers and farming communities would soon be over, I felt mortified.
“He had the solution, he said. Cattle ranches were being set up, and in another 18 months, rustlings, destruction of livelihood and killings from herdsmen would be ‘a thing of the past’. 18 months, he assured the nation. I believe his Minister of Agriculture echoed that later, but with a less dispiriting time schema.
“Neither, however, could be considered a message of solace and reassurance for the ordinary Nigerian farmer and the lengthening cast of victims, much less to an intending tourist to the Forest Retreat of Tinana in the Rivers, the Ikogosi Springs or the moslem architectural heritage of the ancient city of Kano. In any case, the external tourists have less hazardous options.”
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