Admin l Tuesday, February 13, 2018
LAGOS – Nigeria’s nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has lambasted the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, noting that the present administration is not ready to tackle the issue. He said the ‘body language’ of the present administration shows that it was not ready to give the issue the attention it required and that body it has now snowballed to such an extent that it could be described, ”as an internal occupation and colonisation.”
“They have reached a stage of impunity that they ambushed a group of farmers who were meeting to discuss the protection of their farmland. The character of those who we are meeting have changed drastically. I am talking of a phenomenon of internal occupation before Boko Haram exploded,” he said.
Soyinka who was speaking at a press conference with the theme “Nomads and Nation: Valentine Card or Valedictory Rites,” said security forces are displaying some kind of paralysis in dealing with armed herdsmen and called on Nigerians to organise some kind of internal resistance and that government has to first set a deadline for herdsmen to be disarmed.
He also canvassed for emergence of volunteers to keep the herdsmen in check.
“They (the volunteer groups) need to ensure that anytime they see armed herdsmen they should report to the nearest police station. But if at certain point the herdsmen are not disarmed, then these groups should move in and disarm them, “he said and that his opinion on the issue is not a call for violence.
“I mentioned this deliberately because I don’t want anybody to get an impression that war is being declared. I hope we will not get to that stage. These hunter associations will now intensify their surveillance anytime they see armed herdsmen. These associations: OPC, vigilante, hunters, if at certain time the police have not disarmed the herdsmen, these volunteer associations should move into these places.”
While alleging that the crisis between farmers and herdsmen may have been be sponsored by people with access to ill-gotten money bent on causing anarchy in the country.“I think the police have a responsibility to look at highly-placed people in whose interest anarchy can be fostered.
“We might end up discovering that some of these people; I don’t care whether they are politicians or civil servants, have an interest in ensuing that there is chaos from Maiduguri to Lagos.
“We sometimes talk about corruption, but we don’t know how far it can destabilise the polity. When we think of the amount that has been stolen in this country…then you know that there is enough illegal funds to destabilise the nation completely,” he said.