Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka has called on the International Community to intervene in the series of herdsmen killings across the country to avoid a repeat of the Rwanda genocide in Nigeria.
This is not the first time Professor Soyinka is making this call. He had earlier warned that the country risked genocide if the Federal Government fails to put an end to these killings.
He also asked the Federal Government to take a decisive action to end what he described as the ongoing ethnic cleansing in some parts of the country.
The Nobel Laureate spoke about the killing on Thursday morning when he led a delegation of Association of Nigerian Authors to a meeting with the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, at the Government House in Makurdi, the state capital.
At the meeting which comes few days after two Catholic Priests and 17 parishioners killed by suspected herdsmen, were buried, Governor Ortom informed the literary icon that three persons were again killed along Naka road while returning from the burial of the priests.
On hearing this, Professor Soyinka faulted the Federal Government’s response to the killings by suspected herdsmen, which he described as an ethnic cleansing agenda.
He accused the Federal Government of treating the killings of an ‘a malignant tumour with vaseline’.
At the end of the meeting, both leaders called for a quick military response, backed by the international community which can effectively end the herdsmen menace across the country.
The visit of the Nobel Laureate and ANA to the state is to commiserate with the state governor and people of the state over the killings there.
“This is because it is an internal process of individual courage that cognitively, emotionally and spiritually transforms the meaning of the painful experience of the offended and, at the same time, relieving the perpetrator of thoughts of consequences to wipe out the offence and help restore a relationship. In effect, the psycho-social act of forgiveness not only emotionally frees both offended and offender from the pain and guilt of the offence but also collectively fosters family and community reconciliation (Doorn, 2008; Ferch, 2012; Scott, 2010; Tutu, 2000). Psychologically, forgiveness is beneficial to the individual. Those who forgive are known to suffer less turmoil and experience more emotional stability than those who do not forgive (McCullough, Bellah, Kilpatrick & Johnson, 2001). More than anything else, forgiveness is a liberating gift people can give to themselves.
“Forgiveness could be said to be a purely cognitive act by definition; if not, then we needn’t assess someone’s capacity to forgive in terms of the capacity to know. If forgiveness is a matter of avowal—the choice to view your offender beyond his wrongdoing—then your claim to forgiveness does not necessarily depend on what your offender does. Someone who makes the decision to forgive is not violating epistemic humility. The person is not claiming to know something beyond his other intellectual reach. She is claiming to have made a decision. And for all we know, she may struggle with that decision still. Ware (2014) is of the view that that “forgiving someone needn’t involve appraising his conduct or character, and so it needn’t depend on his efforts to apologize or repent. That is why forgiveness only requires viewing others separately from their actions—and it is why, even after atrocity, forgiving persons is always possible”.19
“At group level when violence may have occurred, forgiveness involves addressing lingering negative emotions toward the offending group long even after the violence has stopped. Anger arising from an offense needs be expressed and released before forgiveness may occur. Since emotions are involuntary most times, it is difficult to control or stop even if the offended doesn’t want to feel angry and resentful. So it is best to promote forgiveness between groups without force in order for the forgiveness to be genuine and lasting. Bishop Butler’s idea of forgiveness is best understood as a kind of virtuous resentment in which we steer clear of two extremes: not being resentful enough, insofar as we have insufficient concern for our own well-being, and being too resentful, as exhibited by the vices of malice and revenge.
“The Bible gives us many instructions when it comes to forgiveness. They include the following:
- We forgive because we have been forgiven by God (Ephesians 4:32).
- We forgive in obedience to God (Matthew 6:14-15; Romans 12:18).
- We forgive others to gain control of our lives from hurt emotions (Genesis 4:1-8).
- We forgive so we won’t become bitter and defile those around us (Hebrews 12:14-15)…..”
Readers’ perspectives are welcome, please. (Author)