Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka said his forest in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital has been taken over by herdsmen, stopping him from embarking on his regular hunting.
“My forest has been taken over. It’s been shrinking, shrinking. My normal hunting rounds have been shrinking, shrinking”, Soyinka told BBC Pidgin Service, Saturday.
Calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent action to avert looming ethnic war in the country, Soyinka insisted that the herdsmen crisis is already a war now “right on our door steps”.
He said it is expectedly triggering some kind of mobilisation and stressed the urgent need for resolution.
“If we continue to wait for the resolution to be centrally handled, we are all going to become, if not already, slaves in our land”, he said.
The renowned playwright said the situation is simply intolerable and unacceptable, adding he has made Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state to understand what was going on.
“We are here not just to live, but live in dignity. Right now our dignity is being rubbished”, he said.
Soyinka who lives in Abeokuta inside a forest said his own space has been violated by the herdsmen.
He said he has been warned by his family not to venture into the forest again for any game hunting.
He said Buhari should address the nation in very stern and ambiguous terms and back the effort to stop the herdsmen attack openly as a patron of the Cattle Rearers Association.
He asked him to admit being a cattle rearer himself and a rancher that it is a business that should not cause arm to other people. And that people should run the business on business terms and not by killing or raping people. He said herders should not run the business by displacing or torturing people to occupy land that does not belong to him.
He urged the President to warn the cattle rearers to leave people’s land and embrace ranching nationwide as the lasting solution to the ongoing national controversy.