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12 Jan 2018

Soyinka’s Essay On Violent Killings Is A Wake-Up Call, Says Abati

A former Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Reuben Abati has said that Nigeria may not recover from the spate of renewed herdsmen attacks in parts of the country if it is not nibbed in the bud as soon as possible.

He stated this on Thursday during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, hours after the Benue State Government conducted a mass burial for over 70 persons killed by suspected herdsmen in the state.

“We are going into an election year now. If this matter is not dealt with decisively and if no attempt is made to address the Miyetti Allah and other stakeholders, we may not require from this crisis in another 25 years,” he said.

Abati also advised the Federal Government to take up the issues a renowned Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka raised in his recent article.

Professor Soyinka had alleged that former President Jonathan refused to accept the news of Boko Haram had abducted the pupils of Chibok Girls Secondary School in Borno four years ago.

He said, “President Goodluck Jonathan refused to accept that marauders had carried off the nation’s daughters; President Muhammed Buhari and his government – including his Inspector-General of Police – in near identical denial, appear to believe those killer herdsmen who strike again and again at will from one corner of the nation to the other, are merely hot-tempered citizens whose scraps occasionally degenerate into communal clashes.”

Abati noted that the development was similar to the way insurgency started in the country a few years back.

He added, “Professor Soyinka made a point that all of us should pay attention to, the fact that we seem to be in a state of denial. The government seem to be in a state of denial on this s particular matter.

“And that was how the Boko Haram crisis started. At the end of the day, Nigeria is paying the price for it. So Professor Soyinka’s essay at the end of the day is a wake-up call,” he added.

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