Herdsmen violated Soyinka’s compound, did not attack him

A friend and protege as well as the first son of Professor Wole Soyinka have denied reports that the home of Africa’s first Nobel Laureate in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, was under attack by herdsmen.
Professor Wole Soyinka

A friend and protege as well as the first son of  Professor Wole Soyinka have denied reports that the home of Africa’s first Nobel Laureate in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, was under attack by herdsmen.

While clarifying the situation, Soyinka’s first son, Dr Olaokun and the Nobel Laureate’s friend and protege, Dr Olu Agunloye said the viral information that the Professor of literature has left his Abeokuta home for Lagos as a result of the attack by the herdsmen was also not true.

They however conformed that while it is true that some herdsmen took their cattle to graze in the expansive compound of the Nobel Laureate, there was no any form of attack on his person of family.

Agunloye said: 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 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’.

Speaking in the same vein, Olaokun said: “I have confirmed that while cows did stray onto his land yesterday, there has been no attack, no violence and no attempt to enter the house.

“Kindly debunk this information where you can.

“We do not need confusion added to the already tense situation in the country”.

He asked Koiki Media who took the videos to also join in the efforts  to stop “spreading such disinformation”,  while noting that it is dangerous.

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LASEMA Boss bags Lagos Panorama Distinguished Emergency Management Award

The Director General of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Dr. Olufemi Damilola Oke-Osanyintolu has bagged the prestigious Lagos Panorama Distinguished Emergency Management Award for the agency’s outstanding performance under his leadership in emergency and safety management across the state for the year 2020.

The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.