From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Son of the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, has debunked the social media reports that herdsmen attacked his father’s country home at Kemta Area of Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Soyinka, who debunked the report via a social media platform and obtained by our correspondent, cautioned people from further circulation of the report, noting such unfounded report was an attempt to encourage discord.
A video had emerged online on Wednesday where it was stated that herdsmen invaded Professor Soyinka’s home and attacked him.
The video which went viral alleged that the house was vandalised and residents of the house were attacked.
But Junior Soyinka in the rebuttal, said the video was just an hoax meant to create unnecessary tension, calling on the people to disregard it.
He said that though some cows were spotted around his father’s house, but no attack was carried out.
“This is not true, please, do not circulate further and help to debunk it. It is an attempt to encourage discord. Although some cows were spotted, neither Prof or his house was attacked by anyone. I have confirmed this today (10th February) directly myself from him (his father). Kindly do not fall for this attempt, whatever the motive, to further inflame this problematic situation.
In the same manner, a close ally of the Nobel Laureate, Professor Olu Agunloye, said the story of the attack was untrue.
Agunloye, in a post obtained from another social media platform, explained that herdsmen only led their cattle to graze in the unfenced compound of Soyinka, despite several warnings against such practice in the past.
“The trending story that herdsmen went to attack Prof Wole Soyinka in his house in Abeokuta is not true. Herdsmen did not break into his house. There were no attacks and no attempts to attack the Nobel Laureate.
“What happened was that herdsmen led their cattle to graze in Prof Soyinka’s unfenced compound again yesterday despite his strong warnings to the herdsmen.
Prof Soyinka has been living in the forest at the outskirt of Abeokuta in Area designated as GRA since late 1980s. However, in recent times cattle herders have desecrated the grounds of Professor Soyinka’s compound by flooding it with cows. The Professor summoned the herdsmen and sternly warned them to stop the ugly practice. He told them in very clear terms that it was unacceptable.
“However, the herdsmen broke the rules yesterday (Wednesday) thinking that Prof Soyinka was not home. When the Prof accosted them, they fled into the bush leaving their cows behind. Prof Soyinka reported the incident to the Police which later arrested the herdsmen and their cows.
“We can say categorically that Prof Soyinka and his house were not physically attacked but his compound was violated by recalcitrant herdsmen who wanted to turn his compound to a grazing field. Prof Soyinka and his family remain okay in their Abeokuta home”. Agunloye stated.
Efforts to reach the spokesman of the Ogun State Police Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, to confirm the arrest of the invading herders, proved abortive as he neither picked his calls nor returned them, as at the time of filing this report.