A voice in a viral video who claimed to work for a media house had said some herdsmen attacked Soyinka’s house and threatened to kill him.
But Soyinka’s close associate, Dr Olu Agunloye confirmed that some herdsmen trespassed on the unfenced compound of the Nobel Laureate, but did not attack him.
According to Agunloye, the herdsmen only led their cattle to graze in Soyinka’s unfenced compound on Tuesday, despite his repeated warnings to the Fulani herdsmen.
In a statement on Wednesday night, Ogun police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi said contrary to the reports, the herdsmen invasion was triggered by a cow that strayed into the vicinity of Mr Soyinka’s home.
“The attention of Ogun state police command has been drawn to a video circulating on social media about a purported attack of Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka’s house by Fulani herdesmen and the command wishes to set the record straight as follows:
“Yesterday Tuesday 9th of February 2021, one Kazeem Sorinola an indigene of Ijeun, Abeokuta who is into cattle business was said to have been informed by a young Fulani man, Awalu Muhammad, who is taking care of the cattle that one of the cows had gone missing.
“While the Fulani man was searching for the stray cow around Kemta Estate where the Prof Wole Soyinka’s house is located, the Prof. himself who was going out then, saw the Fulani man with some of the cows and he came down to ask where the man was heading to with the cows. He there and then asked the Fulani man to move the cattle away from the vicinity.
“The DPO Kemta Division, who heard about the incident quickly moved to the scene with a patrol team and the owner of the cows was invited to come with the Fulani man in charge of the cattle. The duo were questioned and properly profiled. The entire place was inspected by the DPO and it was established that it was just a case of stray cow as nothing was damaged or tampered with.
“It was therefore a thing of surprise to see a video trending on social media that the respected Professor Wole Soyinka’s house was invaded by Fulani herdsmen with the view to attack or kill him.
“The video is nothing but a calculated attempt by mischief makers to cause panic in the mind of people. There is nothing like invasion of Prof Wole Soyinka’s house or any form of attack on his person,” the Police spokesperson said.
She added that Ogun Commissioner of Police, Edward Awolowo Ajogun, has been to the scene for on the spot assessment and he personally interviewed the owner of the cattle as well as the Fulani man who is in charge of the cattle.
“The Command hereby wishes to warn the fake news peddler to desist from it as they may be made to feel the weight of the law.
“It is an offence for anybody to originate or help in circulating fake news, the Command will therefore, henceforth be tracing and fishing out those deliberately dishing out fake information to members of the public, especially the one that cause panic in the mind of innocent people.”
Soyinka’s first son, Dr Olaokun also in a statement debunked the trending story that the Nobel Laureate was attacked by herdsmen in Abeokuta.
“To repeat, I have confirmed that while cows did stray onto his land yesterday, there has been no attack, no violence, and no attempt to enter the house.
“Kindly debunk this information where you can. We do not need confusion added to the already tense situation in the country,” he said.
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.