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Benue Killings: Yakassai, Balarabe Musa Blast Soyinka Over Ethnic Cleansing Comment

A Third Republic Presidential Adviser, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai and former governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa have fire back at Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka for describing the killings in some parts of the country as ethnic cleansing.

The Nobel Laureate, who led a delegation of Association of Nigerian Authors to a meeting with Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Thursday at the Government House in Makurdi, called for a quick military response over the ongoing killings in the country.

“We call for a quick military response, backed by the international community which can effectively end the herdsmen menace across the country,” he had said.

Responding to Soyinka’s claim yesterday, Yakassai said: “People like Prof Wole Soyinka who is a Nobel Laureate manipulate the English language.

“I can refer you to the encyclopaedia to find out the meaning of ethnic, and you can now decide whether what is happening in Benue is what Wole Soyinka called it.

“Indeed, I sympathise with the situation in Benue, but I’m worried by the way the governor is taking it. Ortom is not handling it well.

“The problem of herdsmen and farmers is an age-long thing which started even before you were born. I can tell you that it didn’t start from Benue. It started from Nasarawa before getting to Benue, and even before Nasarawa, it started from Zamfara where a whole community was set ablaze.

“But the Benue governor is taking it personal as if the issue is between Fulani and Tiv which it is not. It’s a pity that Ortom is taking it personal with Buhari as a Fulani man and not as farmers/herdsmen clash.”

Also reacting, former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Musa, described Soyinka’s remarks as apolitical.

Musa said: “He (Soyinka) is wrong; two factors are responsible for the killings. It is a combination of conspiracy from internal and external forces. So, what Wole Soyinka is saying is apolitical.

“With his training and age, he ought to know that tribal and religious dichotomy cannot create Boko Haram or herdsmen. Let him see beyond this and see the real reason. It is not just tribalism.”
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