Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, says he does not believe President Muhammadu Buhari is in charge of the captaincy of the nation.
Soyinka, who spoke on Thursday on an Arise TV programme said if the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces were indeed in charge, the insecurity situation in the country won’t have degenerated to the present state.
The South-West region has been in the eye of the storm lately over the activities of herdsmen who invade farmlands with their cattle, harass farmers, and in some cases kill them. Some herdsmen have also been accused of kidnapping, rape and other vicious crimes.
Some herdsmen also trespassed on the compound of the respected academic with their cattle despite repeated warnings.
Many Nigerians including the Nobel Laureate had urged the President Buhari to address Nigerians and make it known publicly that he does not support the criminal activities of some herdsmen in parts of the country but Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari would be talkative if he speaks on every matter including the herdsmen crisis.
Commenting on the situation, Soyinka said, “Buhari does not appreciate the situation, he doesn’t understand, I see no evidence that he understands how grave the situation is.
“I have said it again and again. I don’t believe he is in charge because it is not possible in my view for a head of state, a commander-in-chief of the armed forces to say he is presiding over a nation and things get to this level.
“Something is critically wrong within the leadership of this nation and that is where we civilians must come in, we must pick up the slack for our own situation, for our own salvation.
“What happened to me in this incident is typical of what happen to millions in this country and we cannot just sit still and say we are relying on central help when obviously it is not coming.”
The respected academic also said cattle breeding was not criminal but the act of trampling on the property of others is criminal.
He also urged the governors of the region to embrace modern ranching which he described as a “commonsensical approach” to ending the menace.
He said, “Cattle breeding itself is not criminal, it is when you encroach on other people’s rights even to the extent of displacing them, humiliating them, dehumanising them, raping the women, and killing them. That is when it becomes a crime against humanity and must be dealt with very firmly.
“But even in dealing with it, we must separate the wheat from the chaff. We all live with Fulani friends, colleagues and we have the responsibility to continue to stress that it is not the entire Fulani are guilty of these crimes.
“The leadership of Miyetti Allah has said again and again that it is 90 per cent responsible for the condition we find ourselves.
“We’ve got to make leaders like that take back their words, apologise to the nation and even be subjected to some form of restitution to the whole nation…That is the only way towards peace.”