The Police in Ogun State on Wednesday refuted social media reports that the home of Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, located in the Kemta area of Abeokuta, the state capital, was attacked by suspected herdsmen.
The police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement said contrary to the reports, the incident was triggered by a stray cow sighted on Tuesday “within the vicinity of Mr Soyinka’s home”.
“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 herdsmen and the command wishes to set the record straight,” Mr Oyeyemi said.
The police spokesperson said “one Kazeem, an indigene of Ijeun, who is into the cattle business, was informed by his cattle herder, Awalu Muhammed, that one of the cows was missing”.
“While Mr Muhammed was searching for the stray cow around Kemta Estate where Soyinka’s house is located,” the police said, “Mr Soyinka saw him and ordered him to move the cow away from the vicinity.”
Mr Oyeyemi said the DPO of 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 police said.
“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 an invasion of Prof Wole Soyinka’s house or any form of attack on his person.”
He said the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, “has been to the scene for on the spot assessment”, adding that “he personally interviewed the owner of the cattle and Mr Sorinola”.
“The command hereby wishes to warn the fake news peddlers to desist from it as they may be made to feel the weight of the law,” the police said.
“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.”Mr Soyinka has been openly critical of the deteriorating security situation across Nigeria especially the incursion of armed herders linked to crimes.
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