Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has warned that the Fulani herdsmen/farmers crisis must be resolved amicably so as not to lead to a civil war.
Recall that the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had asked Fulani herdsmen to vacate the state forest reserves and register with the government.
A popular Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, well known as Sunday Igboho, had also issued a quit notice to herdsmen accused of sundry crimes in the Ibarapa area of Oyo and enforced same.
Reports had also emerged of soldiers escorting evicted herdsmen back to Ogun community and allegedly flogging some residents for evicting the herders.
Speaking to BBC Pidgin, Soyinka stated that some herdsmen are acting the way they please, adding that soldiers have taking sides with the enemy.
“My fear is that it could degenerate into violence that ends up in—I hate to use the word—a civil war unless we take action. I’m glad that governors are already dialoguing with groups like Miyetti Allah (cattle breeders),” Soyinka said.
“I’m also glad that they’re already discussing agreeing to obey the rules and that other groups are already liaising. I think we need to ensure they reach a consensus that will be fair to all parties.
“We’re struggling against an enemy that believes in acting the way they please. They believe they have immunity or that nothing can happen to them. That is why, in my own state, you find a soldier taking the side of an enemy.
“They actually escort killers, rapists, raiders while flogging the victims. That wouldn’t happen if the people are conscious of the nature of their enemy and are encouraged to collaborate with the security forces.”