Why proscribe IPOB as a terrorists organisation and not Miyetti Allah? – Prof Wole Soyinka

A file photo of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has questioned the Federal Government’s handling of the farmer-herder crisis.

Speaking exclusively to Channels Television’s NewsNight, a pre-recorded program which airs every Monday, the literary icon wondered why the government was yet to ban cattle group, Miyetti Allah while it had proscribed the Indigenous People of Biafra, a group seeking the secession of the South-East from Nigeria.

He said Nigeria must always put the country’s history in perspective in order to understand security challenges.

“My temperament does not accept that anyone should chase me out of my God-given earth. So, it’s a temperamental thing as well,” Soyinka said.

“The idea that you can unleash terror on me because you want my little patch of territory or you want my soul, that is you want to subjugate me, you want to turn me into a slave. Well, I would sort that out first.

“And then I’ll make up my mind whether I want to leave. So each outrage, unfortunately, has the opposite effect. Whether the outrage is taking place in Benue, in Kaduna, or is taking place in Owo. Or whether it is taking place right here on the (Ogun state) border – we’ve been subjected also to this lunacy, of the subjugation mentality which some minority people hold. And I find it very difficult to accept to be chased out of my own entitled portion of the earth.

“Many people just either do not know history or do not understand the purpose of history. And then there’s a different group also who are very selective about history; they know how to distort or misuse history.

“Take for instance when the incursion of the Fulani herdsmen began, and the Miyetti Allah. Their spokesman said, I think it was in Borno, we once ruled this place, and we can take back our land anytime we want. I remember that statement; I’ve never forgotten. In the midst of the trauma of these people, somebody comes gloating and then citing selective portions of history. I said this person should be arrested and locked up, who says he wants to repeat his history of conquest – he’s admitting either knowledge, before or after, or support, anyway. Isn’t there anything like hate speech anymore? Why are you proscribing IPOB without proscribing Miyetti Allah?”

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