Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate and Nigerian playwright and poet, has criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for his apparent inability to rein in the violent activities of herdsmen across Nigeria, Premium Times reports. Nobel laureate has stated this in his address to the National Conference on Culture and Tourism, on April 27, Wednesday. According to him, the President Buhari-led administration was yet to come up with an articulate solution to tackle the menace.
He said: “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. READ ALSO: “Dear President Buhari, stop playing ethnic card with Nigerian lives” “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,” the writer added. “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.” Soyinka reminded with nostalgia how he traveled across Nigeria in the pre-war 60’s, mostly out of curiosity. “But now, would the young adventurous set out to visit the mystery caves of Anambra and its alleged curative pools from mere interest? “They would think twice about it. It is not merely arbitrary violence that reigns across the nation but total, undisputed impunity. Impunity evolves and becomes integrated in conduct when crime occurs and no legal, logical and moral response is offered.”
He added that he had a personal experience recently with the cattle herders, right at his doorstep. “I returned from a trip outside the country about to find that my home ground had been invaded, and a brand-new ‘Appian way’ sliced through my sanctuary,” said Mr. Soyinka.