Benue massacre: IPOB didn’t kill as much as herdsmen before you declared them terrorist, Soyinka blasts Buhari

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Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka on Wednesday lambasted the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for not being proactive in curtailing the excesses of herdsmen who recently murdered over sixty people in Benue State.

The literary icon further stated that the Indigenous People of Biafa, and its leader, Nnamdi Kanu did not perpetuate as much as the herdsmen are flagrantly doing before the Federal Government declared them (IPOB) a terrorist organization.

Soyinka who was recently under fierce attack for his perceived quietness on the ‘misdeeds’ of the Buhari administration said this in article he titled ‘Impunity rides again’ and released on Wednesday.

“I am not aware that IPOB came anywhere close to this homicidal propensity and will to dominance before it was declared a terrorist organization.

“The international community rightly refused to go along with such an absurdity. The conduct of that movement, even at its most extreme, could by no means be reckoned as terrorism. By contrast, how do we categorize Myeti?,” Soyinka said.

The Nobel Laureate further alleged that President Buhari was handling the Fulani herdsmen killings the way his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan handled the raving Boko Haram crisis back then in 2014.

In his words: “Yes, Jonathan only saw ‘ghosts’ when Boko Haram was already excising swathes of territory from the nation space and abducting school pupils. The ghosts of Jonathan seem poised to haunt the tenure of Mohammed Buhari.”

He further recalled that after “a hideous massacre” perpetrated by the herdsmen in 2016, a security meeting was called and the cattle rearers “attended the meeting — according to reports — with AK47s and other weapons of mass intimidation visible under their garments”.

“They were neither disarmed nor turned back. They freely admitted the killings but justified them by claims that they had lost their cattle to the host community,” he said.

“Such are the monstrous beginnings of the culture of impunity. We are reaping, yet again, the consequences of such tolerance of the intolerable. Yes, there indeed the government is culpable, definitely guilty of ‘looking the other way’. Indeed, it must be held complicit.”


Reacting to a statement that herdsmen were in defence of their stolen cows, the nobel laureate, said, “How do we assess a mental state that cannot distinguish between a stolen cow – which is always recoverable – and human life, which is not.

“Villages have been depopulated far wider than those outside their operational zones can conceive. They swoop on sleeping settlements, kill and strut. They glory in their seeming supremacy.”

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