Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Thursday, gave Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka the title of Super Marshall of the Ogun State Security Network, otherwise called Amotekun Corps.
The governor also decorated Soyinka in line with the title given to him, adorning him with some emblems of the Amotekun Corps during the inauguration of the security outfit in the state.
Abiodun also commissioned a number of patrol vans and motorcycles to aid the operation of the Amotekun Corps.
“This outfit is very close to his (Soyinka’s) heart and issues of security particularly in the South-West.
“On that note, I have a singular honour and privilege to present Prof some of the Amotekun insignias being the Super Marshall of Amotekun in Ogun State,” the governor said during the ceremony.
There have been attacks by Fulani herdsmen on host communities in the South-West region, and Ogun has experienced a large share of the tragic incidents that come with the attacks – killings, rapes, abductions and destruction of farms.
Recently, it was reported that some residents of Yewaland in the state fled to neighbouring Benin Republic due to incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen.
Owing to the security challenges and the failure of the federal police to adequately protect the people, the South-West states agreed in 2020 to form Amotekun Corps with each state having its own chapter, to safeguard the lives and property of their people.
Ogun, however, just launched its own chapter of the Amotekun Corps, months after Oyo and Ogun states had launched theirs.
Incidentally, in February 2021, Soyinka’s property in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, was invaded by herdsmen and their cattle.
The Noble Laureate subsequently berated the state police command for lying over the incident. In a statement he personally signed in Abeokuta, Soyinka said, “Cattle imperialism under any guise is an obscenity to humanity.”
He promised to commence a process of public sensitisation on the need to eliminate open grazing and called on the police to join hands with the agenda as it progresses.
Making “a special practical plea,” he drew the attention of the Nigerian government to the need to make cattle wagons a priority following the resurrection of the railways. “I grew up with the regular sight of those practical conveyances. It is time to bring them back.”
He said, “One has to take time off to deal with distortions and fake versions, while students are being reportedly waylaid and killed and/or kidnapped in Ondo and farmers are being slaughtered in my own state. In short, the killings continue, even as panels are being launched to enquire into immediate past human violations.
“For those who truly seek details of the Ijegba incident, I hereby affirm that I was never physically attacked, neither did I attack any cows. The cows and herders did, however, attack my property – and not for the first time.”