Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka has disclosed that herdsmen invaded his home while he was abroad with the cows leaving a “motorable” path.
In an address to the National Conference on Culture and Tourism on April 27, Soyinka decried the ruthless manner with which the herdsmen have conducted their business of late.
He stressed that Nigeria’s tourism will never boom if it continues to tolerate such insecurity, noting that, culture and tourism are interdependent.
He also stated that the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has not done enough to stop the onslaught of the hersdmen.
“Let me narrate a personal experience – just one among many – that was brought home to me, right against my doorstep. Before that specific happening, I had observed a change of quality in forest encounters with cattle herdsmen over the years. These changes had become sufficiently alarming for me to arrange meetings with a few governors and, later, with the late National Security Adviser General Azazi. At the time, we thought that they were Boko Haram, infiltrating into the south under guise of cattle herding. That was then, and of course that surmise has never been firmly proven or disproved,” he said in a press statement.
Narrating his experience he said: “Recently however, I returned from a trip outside the country about to find that my home ground had been invaded, and a brand-new “Appian way” sliced through my sanctuary. That ‘motorable’ path was made by the hoofed invaders. Both the improvised entry and exit are now blocked, but interested journalists are invited to visit.
“In over two decades of living in that ecological preserve, no such intrusion had ever occurred. I have no idea whether they were Fulani or Futa Jalon herdsmen but, they were cattle herders, and they had cut a crude swathe through my private grounds.
“I made enquiries and sent alerts around, including through the Baale of our neighborhood village. There has been no repeat, and hopefully it will remain the first and last of such invasion. What it portends however is for all thinking citizens to reflect upon, and take concerted measures against.”