WOLE Soyinka, Nobel Laurette, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is not in charge of Nigeria, considering the response of his government to Fulani herders’ crisis.
Soyinka said this on Thursday when he virtually featured on Arise TV over the invasion of his property by cows and the state of the nation due to Fulani crisis.
“I have said this before and I wish to repeat this, Buhari does not appreciate the situation, he doesn’t understand. I see no evidence that he understands how grave the situation is and I have said again and again that I don’t believe he’s in charge,” Soyinka said.
He suggested that due to the grave situation of the herders’ crisis and low response from the government, there was something ‘critically’ wrong within the leadership of Nigeria.
“It’s not possible, in my view, that in a country that has a head of state, commander-in-chief of the armed forces that says he is presiding over a nation, and things get to this level. Something is critically wrong in and within the leadership of this nation,” he further said.
He urged the Nigerian government to make leaders, who had claimed responsibility to criminal offences at different times, take back their words, apologise to the nation and even carry out restitution.
Soyinka’s home invasion by cattle
Speaking on the controversy surrounding the invasion of his home in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, Soyinka said he thought the police needed to be educated.
According to the Nobel Laurette, the police needed to be educated on the meaning of invasion of someone’s home.
“When people talk about the invasion of home, they are not just talking about the physical building, they are talking about the home which includes the ground,” Soyinka said.
He refuted claims that cattle or herders attacked him, but insisted that his home was invaded.
“No cattle people attacked me, that is a fact, that never happened… But my home was invaded by cattle. Why should the police go to such length to suggest that I had nothing better to do than to go accosting cattle on the road,” Soyinka said.
He stated that it was after he and his groundsmen had driven the cows out of his property that he called the police to come to take over as against suggestions that the cows were never on his property.
“I led the cattle to the roadside and called the police to come and take over. Why should the police find it necessary to suggest that the cattle were never in my property,” he added.
Soyinka stated that he wanted the people to understand that what happened to him was typical of what was happening to millions of people in the country.
For many years, Fulani herders-farmers crisis has continued to create several debates on open grazing. Many farmers have decried the destruction of their crops by cattle while some residents in the Southern part of the country have said they are being killed, raped and kidnapped by Fulani herders.
The Fulani crisis again created a national crisis following the order of Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo State, on Fulani herders to vacate the state’s forest reserve due to several reported cases of kidnappings allegedly perpetrated by some them.
After his order, a series of violence ensued in Ondo and Ogun states in a bid to ‘drive out’ Fulani herders from some communities.