Dr Olu Agunloye, a close associate of Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has revealed that Fulani herdsmen trespassed on the unfenced compound of the respected academic with their cattle despite repeated warnings.
Agunloye, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday night, said the herdsmen did not attack Soyinka, but only violated his compound with cows despite repeated warnings by the Nobel Laureate.
In the statement titled, “Herdsmen did not attack Prof Soyinka”, the associate also said the trespassing herdsmen have been arrested by the police.
“The trending story that herdsmen went to attack Prof Wole Soyinka in his house in Abeokuta is not true. Herdsmen did not break into his house. There were no attacks and no attempts to attack the Nobel Laureate.
“What happened was that herdsmen led their cattle to graze in Prof Soyinka’s unfenced compound again yesterday despite his strong warnings to the herdsmen.
“Prof Soyinka has been living in the forest at the outskirt of Abeokuta in Area designated as GRA since late 1980s. However, in recent times cattle herders have desecrated the grounds of Professor Soyinka’s compound by flooding it with cows. The Professor summoned the herdsmen and sternly warned them to stop the ugly practice. He told them in very clear terms that it was unacceptable.
“However, the herdsmen broke the rules yesterday thinking that Prof Soyinka was not home. When the Prof accosted them, they fled into the bush leaving their cows behind. Prof Soyinka reported the incident to the Police which later arrested the herdsmen and their cows.
“We can say categorically that Prof Soyinka and his house were not physically attacked but his compound was violated by recalcitrant herdsmen who wanted to turn his compound to a grazing field. Prof Soyinka and his family remain okay in their Abeokuta home,” the statement reads.
The invasion is coming in the wake of ethnic tensions across the country, especially in the South-West, which many have attributed to criminal Fulani herdsmen.
KanyiDaily recalls that Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu had recently issued a seven-day ultimatum to Fulani herders, to quit the state forest reserve over the rising cases of insecurity in the state.
A Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, also issued an ultimatum to Fulanis to leave Oyo state or face severe consequences.