Buhari should have lost last election over herdsmen crises — Soyinka

THE controversial Ruga settlement policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, meant to permanently settle Fulani cattle-rearers in nearly all the states of the federation, has continued to rile a lot of notable Nigerians, including Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, who didn’t mince words in declaring it a waiting disaster on Tuesday.

Soyinka said Buhari should have lost last election over herdsmen crises.

“President Muhammadu Buhari deserved to have lost the last election for the lackadaisical attitude he took to the issue of cattle rearing in the country”, he said

The international figure could not relate the president’s re-election success, to his failure in the handling of the herders’ issue, submitting that the long-running crises over the killings by herdsmen, nearly all over the country, was enough to cause Buhari’s failure at the last poll.

Speaking in Lagos on Tuesday at the United Nations Solutions 17 SDG programme, Soyinka, hitting hard on the subject matter which has dominated national and international discourse since the move was made by the federal government, was of the opinion that the policy would cause national explosion if not intelligently-handled.

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He wondered how government came about such an explosive policy, which had all the propensity to ignite the nation if not handled with care.

“Ruga is going to be an explosion if not handled with care. But why do we not take our policies from good models? This is not the way people and countries deal with issues of cattle.

“I travel everywhere. It has to be handled in a way that is logical, comprehensible to the environment. When a cattle walks up to the window of my house in Abeokuta, a house which is located in a residential area, then there is a problem.

“When cattle go to Ijebu Ode and eat up their plant seedlings and so on and you expect people to be quiet?”, he asked

“People have been killed in hundreds just because of the failure of leadership at a critical time. And the cattle herders have been given a sense of impunity. They kill without any compunction, they drive away the farmers who have been contributing to the food solutions in the country, the cattle eat their crops and then you come up with Ruga.

“I think that there is going to be trouble in this country if this Ruga thing is not handled imaginatively and with humanity as priority. Any country where cattle takes priority over human life is definitely at an elementary stage” he said.

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