Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, warns that the conflict between herders and local communities in Nigeria could lead to a civil war, if not properly addressed.
Prof. Soyinka said this in a recent interview with the BBC, advising that there is a need to ensure that the matter is settled amicably.
He said, “My fear is that it could degenerate into violence that ends up in—I hate to use the word—a civil war unless we take action. I’m glad that governors are already dialoguing with groups like Miyetti Allah (cattle breeders).
“I’m also glad that they’re already discussing agreeing to obey the rules and that other groups are already liaising. I think we need to ensure they reach a consensus that will be fair to all parties.
“We’re struggling against an enemy that believes in acting the way they please. They believe they have immunity or that nothing can happen to them. That is why, in my own state, you find a soldier taking the side of an enemy.
“They actually escort killers, rapists, raiders while flogging the victims. That wouldn’t happen if the people are conscious of the nature of their enemy and are encouraged to collaborate with the security forces.”