Soyinka decries take over of Northeast by terrorists

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    By Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

    Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka has decried the insecurity in the Northeast.

    The globally renowned writer noted that the development was the handiwork of herdsmen militia, Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWA).

    Soyinka spoke yesterday in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, when he visited Governor Samuel Ortom at the Government House.

    He said urgent steps should be taken to curtail the trend, adding that it is the responsibility of leaders at all levels to ensure that the present generation also enjoys some of those things the older generations of today enjoyed during their childhood days.

    The Nobel Laureate noted that for any one section of the country to oppose a legitimate legislation without any prosecution from relevant authorities meant the failure of the leadership.

    He expressed worry that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were still languishing in camps.

    But the eminent writer acknowledged that relative peace had returned to Benue, compared to the last time he visited the state in the heat of the herders’ invasion in 2018.

    Professor Soyinka acknowledged Ortom’s contributions to the activities of the Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA) through the State Chairman, Dr. Charles Iornumbe.

    He urged the governor to give a parcel of land to the state chapter of the association to build a befitting secretariat.

    Ortom, who corroborated the Nobel Laureate’s statement on the need to ensure peaceful coexistence, especially in the North, noted that today’s young generation should not be made to grow up with the impression that Nigeria is a violent country.

    The governor said they would take to violence as a way of life, if the impression is created in their minds.

    He urged Nigerians to speak out against the ills of the society, like Professor Soyinka does.

    Ortom stressed that the renowned writer represents an epitome of truthfulness and peaceful coexistence as he also speaks for the oppressed.

    According to him, if Nigeria could copy democracy from the United States of America (U.S.A), it could as well do same for ranching as the global best practice in animal husbandry.

    Ortom promised to petition the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies on the alleged inciting statements credited to the leader of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Alhaji Abdullahi Bodejo.

    The governor because such threats were treated with levity in the past, the state suffered the consequences.

    Ortom said he was ready to accept superior opinions on issues bordering on state and national development.

    He added that Ruga settlements and cattle colonies cannot be alternatives to ranching for animals husbandry in Benue State.

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