Govt allowed killings by herdsmen to fester, says Soyinka

Written by Maritime First

…Army says Shekau now disguises as woman in black hijab***

President Muhammadu Buhari is operating under a trance, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka said yesterday.

The sooner he gets out of that trance, Soyinka said, the better for the country.

Prof. Soyinka, who spoke at a press conference on the damaging consequences of marauding herdsmen on the nation, noted the unforced errors going on in the nation.

With the theme:  “Herdsmen and Nation:  Valentine Card or Valedictory Rites?” the dramatist gave an analogical tale of a state whose master’s insensitivity allows for the overbearing actions of his subjects.

He lamented that mass destruction of farmlands in the most horrifying manner had become a norm, festering with the encouragement of the government’s body language.

Soyinka described as appalling the position of the Inspector General of Police that the loss of lives in Benue State, and consequent increase in the number of internal refugees, was simply a communual clash.

In his view, little will be achieved in security without  state police.

“If the IG can sit in Abuja and say of an event that is happening under the jurisdiction of a governor in another state is just a communal clash when people are being slaughtered and their villages are being occupied, it shows complete alienation.

Then there is  the authority of Governors who have the ultimate authority for security. It is the governor who is supposed to be the chief security officer. We are now back to authoritative voices saying indeed, state police need to be decentralised. We have been saying it and others  have been saying for a long time. We are now getting back to the commonsensical issue that the nation cannot function under a single police command,” he said.

Acknowledging, however, that the Nigerian Army has done marvelously in degrading the capacity of the Boko-Haram insurgents, the poet-activist said “it must now turn around to face another phenomenon which is considered in some international circles deadlier than the Boko-Haram”.

According to him, the containing efforts happening now should have begun six months as he expected the force to have immediately transferred its concentration from operations, such as Python Dance and Crocodile Smile to where the heat was.

He said the security agencies have the responsibility to look at highly-placed people in whose interest anarchy can be fostered.

Soyinka added: “Why colonies were brought in to complicate things, I do not know. Ranches; that’s the word used everywhere.

There is no organized illegal force that does not sooner or later spin up. Are these internally generated or are they being launhed by individuals who in their interest the nation must be in a state of anarchy? We sometimes talk about corruption but we don’t understand how far corruption goes. When you think of the amount being stolen in this country, enough funds illegal fund to destabilise the country. We might end up discovering that some of these people profit from ensuring there is chaos from Maiduguri to Lagos.”

Speaking on restructuring, Soyinka said: “Sooner or later, people will recognise the fact it’s not broken record they are listening to, it’s their hearing that is impaired. In other words, we have been shouting restructuring, now its inevitability has always been stressed.

The internal relationship of the units of this country be decentralised. And anytime you talk about restructuring, you hear this gibberish that the sovereignty of this country will not be compromised. Who is talking about sovereignty? We are saying the internal components of the country needed to be addressed … We must decentralise governance.”

Asked what he would tell President Buhari if he met him, the Nobel laureate said: “I would say: Mr President, I think you are under a trance. “The sooner he gets out of it the better. So many unforced errors are going on,” he added.

Prof. Soyinka cited Buhari’s recall of the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf, after he was suspended for alleged graft by Minister of Health Isaac Adewole, as a recent example of the unforced errors that have characterised the administration.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army said Tuesday day that Abubakar Shekau ,factional leader of Boko Haram terrorists group has fled the Sambisa Forest following its troops’ intense raid in the area to completely dislodge the terrorists. But the Army said the terrorists’ leader disguised as a woman by dressing in a woman attire while fleeing.

The troops of Operation Lafiya Dole,in statement relayed to the media through Army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman,said Shekau is on the run disguising as a woman in different hijab attires.

It said credible information from surrendered insurgents indicated that the factional leader of the group could not sustain the tempo of the heat of the ongoing counterinsurgency going on in the forest. Usman added that the troops also rescued civilians that were being held hostages by the terrorists and recovered arms, ammunition, Improvised Explosives Devices (IED) factories and making materials as well as other equipment.

The statement reads: “The concerted efforts of troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE on the ongoing clearance of the Boko Haram terrorists through Operation DEEP PUNCH II has been yielding tremendous results. “Troops have successfully been clearing Boko Haram camps in Sambisa forest including Camp Zairo.

They have also rescued civilians being held hostages by the terrorists, recovered arms, ammunition, Improvised Explosives Devices (IED) factories and making materials as well as other equipment. Consequently, the terrorists are in disarray and scampering for safety while others were surrendering.

“Credible information from arrested and surrendered insurgents indicated that the purported Boko Haram terrorists group factional leader, Abubakar Shekau could not bear the heat anymore as he has abandoned his followers, he is running for his dear life.

“He is desperately trying to escape the theatre disguised as a woman dressed in Hijab. We reliably gathered that to avoid detection Abubakar Shekau alternates between blue and black coloured hijabs. He was last seen in a black hijab.

“We therefore call on all those remaining Boko Haram terrorists to know that they are following a coward moving about in hijab disguised as a woman. “We also request all the remaining Boko Haram members to come out from hiding and lay down their arms and be treated humanely,” the statement noted.

He therefore, advised residents of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states to be more vigilant, security conscious and be on the look out for the Boko Haram leader and other terrorists that might want to disguise as woman.

“While concerted efforts are ongoing to track and apprehend the fugitive terrorist leader, we implore also members of the public, especially the residents of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States to be more vigilant, security conscious and be on the look out of Abubakar Shekau and other terrorists that might disguise as women to escape.”

Nation with additional report from Vanguard

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