By Adejoke Adeleye/Abeokuta
Authorities of Ogun Police Command have debunked claims that the residence of Africa’s first Nobel Laurete, Prof Wole Soyinka in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State was attacked by herdsmen.
The Police Command, in a statement by its Public Relations Officer said the purported attack on the Professor’s home depicted in a viral video was just a case of a cow that strayed into the area the residence is located.
The statement reads: “The attention of Ogun state police command has been drawn to a video circulating on social media about a purported attack of Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka’s house by Fulani herdesmen and the command wishes to set the record straight as follows:
“Yesterday Tuesday 9th of February 2021, one Kazeem Sorinola an indigene of Ijeun, Abeokuta who is into cattle business was said to have been informed by a young Fulani man, Awalu Muhammad, who is taking care of the cattle that one of the cows had gone missing.
“While the Fulani man was searching for the stray cow around Kemta Estate where the Prof Wole Soyinka’s house is located, the Prof. himself who was going out then, saw the Fulani man with some of the cows and he came down to ask where the man was heading to with the cows. He there and then asked the Fulani man to move the cattle away from the vicinity.
“The DPO Kemta Division, who heard about the incident quickly moved to the scene with a patrol team and the owner of the cows was invited to come with the Fulani man in charge of the cattle. The duo were questioned and properly profiled. The entire place was inspected by the DPO and it was established that it was just a case of stray cow as nothing was damaged or tampered with.
“It was therefore a thing of surprise to see a video trending on social media that the respected Professor Wole Soyinka’s house was invaded by Fulani herdsmen with the view to attack or kill him.
“The video is nothing but a calculated attempt by mischief makers to cause panic in the mind of people. There is nothing like invasion of Prof Wole Soyinka’s house or any form of attack on his person,” the Police spokesperson said.
She added that Ogun Commissioner of Police, Edward Awolowo Ajogun, has been to the scene for on the spot assessment and he personally interviewed the owner of the cattle as well as the Fulani man who is in charge of the cattle.
“The Command hereby wishes to warn the fake news peddler to desist from it as they may be made to feel the weight of the law.
“It is an offence for anybody to originate or help in circulating fake news, the Command will therefore, henceforth be tracing and fishing out those deliberately dishing out fake information to members of the public, especially the one that cause panic in the mind of innocent people.”
Soyinka’s first son, Dr Olaokun and the Nobel Laureate’s friend and protege, Dr Olu Agunloye had also in a statement debunked the trending story that the Nobel Laureate was attacked by herdsmen in Abeokuta.
They were emphatic that herdsmen did not break into Soyinka’s house or made any attempt to attack him.
“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,” the duo said.