Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has described last Sunday’s massacre of worshippers in Owo, Ondo state as a message to the people and the response of the people would be that they were not slaves. Professor Soyinka made the remarks when he paid a condolence visit to Governor Akeredolu in his office in Akure yesterday over the terror attack.
The Nobel laureate also noted that the attack was on Governor Akeredolu who has been showing leadership in terms of internal liberation.
He argued that the masterminds of the gruesome attack are people obsessed with domination but noted that that the response to the message the killers are sending is that Yorubas are not slave.
His words: “He (Gov Akeredolu) was targeted and there is no question about that. It was not an accident, and it is passing a message to the rest of us. That is why I’m here. I want the Governor to know that we have received the message. We understand it and we came to sympathize with him that he was selected as a medium of that message.
“So, the answer we must give to the message we all received is that we are not slaves. Here, on our own soil, having had the experience of a century of disdain, and contempt about us as black people. Again some characters come along calling themselves whatever, ISWAP, Boko Haram.
“So, all those groups including those who are just opportunists – the herdsmen, they are making a mistake. I want the Governor to realize they are making a mistake.
“I have been on this issue for quite some times. This invasion has been on and these herdsmen are all over the forests. We are dealing with people who are obsessed with domination; it is in their blood, it is in their creed, and their psyche that they need to dominate. At a time we thought it was Boko Haram, we didn’t know that Fulani herdsmen were capitalising on the fundamentalist insurgency and brutality.
“And that is why we see a nexus of operation between ISWAP, Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. They work singularly, individually and they work collectively. I know Ondo State has always been at the forefront of awareness.” Prof. Soyinka said.
Governor Akeredolu appreciated the Nobel laureate for the condolence visit, saying that the state would remain hugely indebted to him.
“It is a cause that he has dedicated his life to, and I thank God for his life. The state wants to appreciate you for finding time to come at this hour of grieve. This is like a dagger drawn to our hearts, and it is an assault on our psyche. The psyche of those of us in the South-West and Western Region.
“I think they think they can create some fears in us but they made a mistake because this will make us more fierce in our condemnation of their actions. And we are not hiding it.” Governor Akeredolu said.