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Fulani herdsmen invade Nobel Laureate’s home again

Soyinka revealed this on Friday, April 28, during a press conference at the Freedom Park in Lagos.

Nigerian Literature Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka speaks during an interview with Reuters in his home in the southwest city of Abeokuta July 1, 2014.    REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

The playwright’s home had been invaded by the herdsmen last year while he was out of the country.

“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,” Soyinka said on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in an address to the National Conference on Culture and Tourism.

“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.

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“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,” he added.

Soyinka also said that Nigeria would never have a viable tourism sector if it continued to tolerate the insecurity unleashed by marauding Fulani herdsmen.

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Killer Fulani herdsmen have, in recent times, been blamed for violence and murders in various states around the country.

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