Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Prize winner, has expressed doubt about how the Federal Government manages the farmer-herder problem.
He stated this on Monday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Newsnight. He wondered why the government was yet to ban the cattle group, Miyetti Allah, while it had proscribed the Indigenous People of Biafra, a group seeking the secession of the South-East from Nigeria.
According to him, Nigeria must always consider its historical context in order to comprehend current security concerns.
“My temperament does not accept that anyone should chase me out of my God-given earth. So, it’s a temperamental thing as well,” Soyinka said.
“The idea that you can unleash terror on me because you want my little patch of territory or my soul, that is, you want to subjugate me, you want to turn me into an enslaved person. Well, I would sort that out first.
“And then I’ll make up my mind whether I want to leave. So each outrage, unfortunately, has the opposite effect. Whether the outrage is taking place in Benue, Kaduna, or is taking place in Owo. Or whether it is taking place right here on the (Ogun state) border – we’ve also been subjected to this lunacy, of the subjugation mentality which some minority people hold. And I find it very difficult to accept to be chased out of my entitled portion of the earth.
“Many people either do not know the history or do not understand the purpose of history. And then there’s a different group who are very selective about history; they know how to distort or misuse history.
“Take, for instance, when the incursion of the Fulani herdsmen began, and the Miyetti Allah. Their spokesman said, I think it was in Borno, we once ruled this place, and we can take back our land anytime we want. I remember that statement; I’ve never forgotten it. In the midst of the trauma of these people, somebody comes gloating and then citing selective portions of history. I said this person should be arrested and locked up. Who says he wants to repeat his history of conquest – he’s admitting either knowledge, before or after, or support, anyway. Isn’t there anything like hate speech anymore? Why are you proscribing IPOB without proscribing Miyetti Allah?”